Strawberry Patent Lawsuit Makes its Way to Federal Court

Driscoll’s, one of the largest California strawberry distributors, has filed a complaint in federal court against California Berry Cultivars (CBC), a strawberry breeding company, as well as the company’s co-founder, Douglas Shaw, alleging patent infringement and conversion of its proprietary strawberry varieties.

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This suit follows earlier litigation between UC Davis and CBC in May 2017 where a jury found CBC had committed willful patent infringement, Driscoll’s said in a news release, adding that as a result of the trial, certain CBC breeding records were made public, revealing that CBC had been breeding with several of Driscoll’s varieties.

“We will stand up for our patented varieties and the farming families who rely on our breeding programs,” said Driscoll’s General Counsel Tom O’Brien. “Driscoll’s and all of the strawberry breeding programs in California have an interest in fostering fair competition that benefits consumers and growers. We cannot and will not abide by the illegal and unauthorized use of our varieties and believe that all breeding programs should be protected from these kinds of actions.”

The complaint was filed in the Sacramento Division of the Eastern District of California. To review the full complaint, please visit this link.