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Driscoll’s Strawberry Dispute Could Sweeten Plant Patent Case Law

April 9, 2019, 2:51 PM

Driscoll’s Inc.'s lawsuit over its patents on growing sweeter, heartier strawberries could strengthen scant case law in the evolving field of plant patent litigation.

The berry grower says plant scientist Douglas Shaw and his private strawberry breeding company, California Berry Cultivars LLC, improperly used Driscoll’s proprietary strawberry varieties in its plant-breeding activities. California Berry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

A ruling in the Driscoll’s case could potentially clarify the scope of patent exhaustion, under which patent owners lose certain rights after a first authorized sale of a patented product, and what amounts to unauthorized use of a...

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