In a lawsuit, the Canadian government claims its patent for a cherry cultivar was infringed upon by three Washington farms that have produced the variety without permission under another name.
Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food has filed the lawsuit against the defendants — Van Well Nursery of East Wenatchee, Monson Fruit of Wenatchee and Gordon and Sally Goodwin of Wenatchee — seeking an injunction to stop them from growing, propagating and selling the patented cherry trees.
The complaint alleges the trees in question are of the Staccato cultivar, developed by breeder David Lane at the Canadian government’s Summerland Research and Development Center in British Columbia, which received a US patent in 2009.
Van Well Nursery obtained the variety for testing and evaluation but was prohibited by the Canadian government from distributing or selling Staccato trees, the complaint said. Nonetheless, the nursery delivered the Staccato cultivar to Gordon and Sally Goodwin, who grow cherries, along with trees of another cultivar produced under license from the Canadian government, according to the complaint.
According to capitalpress.com, the lawsuit doesn’t specify whether the Staccato trees were transferred intentionally or unwittingly.