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Castellon (Spain)

Complaint filed against a cooperative from Nules for reproducing and growing a licensed citrus variety without authorization

The Court of First Instance and Instruction No. 4 of Nules has admitted a complaint filed by the Sando Clementine company against the owner of a cooperative from Nules for an alleged crime against industrial property related to the protection of plant varieties.

According to the complaint, "three of this company's plots have grafted plants of the Sandro clementine variety that are not included in the licensing contract and that have been propagated without the owner of plant material's authorization.

According to the Sando Clementine company, the license only authorizes the licensee to exploit the plants of the Sando variety that are the subject of said license and to commercialize the fruit they produce. "In no case is this cooperative, or any other licensee, authorized to carry out other actions in relation to components of the Sando variety. This means they have expressly assumed the obligation not to carry out any actions to reproduce, multiply, or propagate, sell, or market its genetic material."

"By signing the contract, the licensee acknowledged that any propagation or change of location of the licensed variety carried out without the authorization of the breeder constitutes an infringement of the plant variety rights in accordance with Spanish and Community regulations, which will lead to the termination of the contract and the possible claim for damages," the company added.

Crime against intellectual property in plant varieties is punishable by one to three years in prison, and economic compensation, Sandro Clementine stated.

This isn't the only complaint that the Sandro Clementine company has presented to the court. "We have filed three complaints about an alleged crime against industrial property as, in addition to not paying royalties, these companies have reproduced the variety," company sources stated.

The owner of the Nules cooperative society said that he was unaware of a complaint against them, therefore, of its content.



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