Brussels, February 12, 2019. Breeders Trust, the organization that defends the Plant Breeders’ Rights of 10 leading European potato breeders, won a lawsuit last week against the Danish potato export and trading company Myco Seed A/S located in Give (Denmark). The Danish court in Kolding has ruled that Myco Seed A/S has infringed the Plant Breeders’ Rights of 3 varieties in Denmark belonging to the Dutch potato breeders Agrico and HZPC. Myco Seed A/S has been ordered to pay damages caused by the infringement, destruction of the remaining stock and to compensate the costs related to the seizure of evidence and and partly the legal costs.
Geert Staring, general director of the Brussels-based Breeders Trust, is content with the verdict. ‘Against infringement of Breeders’ Rights, however large or small, we act and will not be tolerated’.
In this case, in 2017, imports from Spain of at least 10.000 mini-tubers of 3 potato varieties protected by Danish national Plant Breeders’ Rights were found to have been imported illegally by Myco Seed A/S and subsequently used for commercial production and propagation in Denmark. We are talking here about an international potato trader, a professional who should know the rules and nevertheless violated and neglected the interests of the breeders involved, according to Mr. Staring. The seizure of evidence at the residence of the director of Myco Seed A/S, organized in July 2017 with permission of the Danish court, also provided the indisputable evidence that 3 protected varieties were unlawfully imported to Denmark from Spain and subsequently traded in Denmark.
The judge ruled in favor of Breeders Trust and stated in its judgment that Myco Seeds A/S should not have imported the varieties Agria, Bartina and Carlitta protected in Denmark for commercial production, use, propagation or treatment and/or storage for reproduction, as well as for sale, transfer or storage as long as the varieties are protected in Denmark. Moreover, the court ordered that the remaining stock of the 3 varieties in question should be destroyed by Myco Seed A/S. Finally, Myco Seed A/S shall transfer a total amount of 99,056 DKK (€ 13,270, -) + statutory interest in damages for the infringement and in compensation of legal costs to Breeders Trust within 14 days.
The Danish law firm Bech-Bruun assisted Breeders Trust with the seizure of evidence and the subsequent infringement proceedings against Myco Seed A/S in Denmark.