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Spanish farmer embroiled in legal fight with Moroccan king over mandarins

A grower from Spain is embroiled in a legal battle over the growing of a ‘nadorcott', a type of mandarin orange developed by the Moroccan National Institute of Agricultural Research. Its patent belongs to the Alaouite dynasty.

The farmer started growing the fruit in 2006, and five years later was sued for it, having the case dragged through a Commercial Court, the Murcia Provisional Court and the Supreme Court. With around 4,400 trees planted by Jose Canovas Pardo on his estate, after only a few months he was sent an injunction requiring he cease the growing of such fruit by Geslive, the company managing the rights to the ‘nadorcott’ in Spain and Portugal.

The requirement continued until 2011 when a Commercial Court hearing was requested, demanding not only the farmer stop his crop from growing, but demanding the destruction of his trees in the process, on top of financial compensation.

According to¸ the Commercial Court dismissed the case on the grounds that according to European law, the facts were time-barred, and the limit for lodging a complaint was three years from the time protection was granted. The case has since been returned to the Supreme Court for it to determine when CVVP was aware of each of the infringements by Mr Pardo.

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