Spain: First sentence for illegal exploitation of Orri mandarins

The Commercial Court Number 2 of Valencia has issued the first ruling against the illegal exploitation of the protected plant variety Orri. This ruling, favourable to The Enforcement Organization S.L. (TEO) exclusive master licensee of the protected plant variety Orri in Spain and Portugal, is the result of a civil lawsuit for the illegal exploitation of 199 trees of this variety in a plot located in the municipality of Picasent, Valencia.

Destruction of illegal plantation of Orri mandarins.

The ruling states that the offender had carried out an illegal multiplication and propagation of the Orri variety, both during the provisional and the definitive protection periods. Consequently, the court has ordered the offender to pay TEO a "reasonable compensation" of almost € 20,000 (30 €/tree for the infringement during the provisional protection period, plus 60 €/tree for the infringement during the protection period).

Also, the Commercial Court Number 2 of Valencia has ruled that the offender will have to destruct the plant material of the Orri protected plant variety. It also prohibits the exploitation of the trees of this variety, as well as the marketing of the fruit obtained from these trees. The producers will also be forced to pay for the publishing of the ruling in a magazine specialised in the citrus sector.

Representatives of the association of Orri mandarin producers (ORC), which brings together more than 400 licensees of this variety, have stressed that "this ruling is excellent news for the entire citrus sector, which is concerned about the illegal exploitation of protected plant varieties, as this results in unfair competition."

Destruction of illegal plantation of Orri mandarins.

Two years of intense action in defence of the protected Orri variety
TEO undertook legal action for the first time in 2016 (once the specific farms where the variety was illegally produced were located), and since then, there have been a number of actions, with more than 100 reports filed so far. TEO inspectors and field technicians continue working in the detection of illegal plantations.

In the 2017-2018 campaign, TEO has undertaken legal action on 108 occasions, and the rulings will be known in the coming months. 92 of these have been for the illegal exploitation of Orri mandarins and could affect around 172 hectares (more than 80,000 trees).

By regions, 85.23% of the cases correspond to the Region of Valencia, with some 45,000 trees affected; 6.82% to Andalusia, with about 16,000 trees; 6.82% to the Region of Murcia, with about 14,000 trees, and 1.14% to Catalonia.

Of the 92 legal actions opened, a total of 68 have been processed by civil law, while the other 27, affecting 38,000 trees (more than 69 hectares) have been processed by criminal law for a possible crime against industrial property.

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