Proven Winners North America LLC won a lawsuit in federal court, enforcing its patent and trademark rights against several Canadian parties. The accused company and its individual owner, both of Canada, were enjoined by order of the United States District Court. The injunction in favor of Proven Winners enforced more than 200 patents and nearly 50 of Proven Winners' trademarks against the accused infringers.
The defendants were also required by agreement to pay damages, which according to Proven Winners was a considerable sum.
Trial counsel for Proven Winners, Jennifer Whitelaw of Whitelaw Legal Group in Naples, Fla., said, "Protecting these valuable plant varieties is something we take seriously. The rights in these plants are the result of hard work and innovation. The law protected these plants. That in turn benefited all of the lawful growers of the Proven Winners brands."
Mark Broxon, executive director of Proven Winners, said that Proven Winners now has quite a record of success in infringement suits. The company does all it can to avoid having to take legal action and works with growers who may not understand the rules. When illegal discoveries are made, most growers are glad to resolve matters and get back to business, says Broxon.
"Proven Winners will continue to protect the value of our breeders' intellectual property rights," said Broxon. "The vast majority of growers do not propagate illegally. Those who do, however, must be stopped. Paying royalties ensures the flow of great new genetics to the industry. Without breeder royalties, great advancements stop happening. If you're an illegal propagator, you're not the only one who has a lot to lose. The entire industry loses when these rights are not honored."
For the defendants in this most recent case, it meant paying damages in an amount many times greater than the costs of simply paying the assessed charge for the plants in the first place.
Like a number of the world's top breeders and plant marketers, Proven Winners' plant patent rights are administered by Royalty Administration International (RAI). Jerry Ruskan, RAI's manager for North America had this to say, "Our job is to help the companies and breeders we represent receive the payments that are due them and to keep the connection with the grower positive. Another win just makes our message clearer." For more information about this lawsuit contact Proven Winners at (877) 865-5815.