Fundamental decision on PBR (Plant Breeders Rights) by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands

The Hague - On Friday, November 13th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands awarded to AIB (Anti Infringement Bureau) its cassation request concerning the infringement of Plant Breeders' Rights by the company Novisem.

The case concerned a suspected infringement by the company Novisem located in Baarlo (NL) on Plant Breeders Rights of various Dutch seed companies. On 13 November 2015 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the AIB and sentenced the company Novisem to pay the court costs, after the courts gave the AIB wrong in the first instance and on appeal.

In an explanation Casper van Kempen, managing director of AIB, emphazises the importance of this ruling, "This fundamental decision is of great importance for the whole seed sector. The ruling confirms that protected varieties may not just be offered, also not conditionally, by a third party before the expiration of Plant Breeders’ Rights. The latter may be also the case even if the Plant Breeders’ Rights does not exist in any country but it does in the Netherlands. Secondly this verdict also confirms the legitimacy to move on a reasonable suspicion of infringement, to seize information and materials and to forthwith study them.

Together with the seed industry AIB attaches great importance to protecting intellectual property rights, especially the Plant Breeders' Rights (PBR), and taking action against infringers. PBR ensures that seed companies are rewarded for developing new and improved vegetable varieties. The AIB member companies invest a substantial amount in research and breeding activities. The rewards come back via the seeds sales price and these returns are then used to continue the R & D investments and efforts for developing new varieties.

About AIB:
AIB is an international association representing the major companies in the vegetable seed industry. Our member companies are committed to supporting sustainable horticulture through innovation in vegetable breeding and seed production. The mission of AIB is to prevent and fight infringements of the Intellectual Property Rights of its members. It is connected to a network of regional and national seed associations and IP enforcement authorities in many countries.