Secan, Alliance Seed Reach Largest PBR Settlement in Canada

Feb 25, 2021

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Alliance Seed and SeCan announced Wednesday the settlement of a joint Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) case between Alliance Seed, SeCan and one other seed distributor versus a large farming operation in southern Alberta. The companies agreed not to name the specific operation.
 
The settlement relates to unauthorized advertisements and sales of PBR protected barley and wheat varieties.
 
The parties have agreed to a cash settlement of $737,597 compensation for royalties, legal and investigative costs, and a declaration there will be no additional unauthorized sales.
 
“We are pleased to finally put this one to rest – it has been in the works for five years and covers sales spanning six seasons,” said Todd Hyra, Secan's Business Manager for Western Canada.
 
The settlement is the largest on a PBR case to date, as it is three times the previous highest PBR settlement.
 
“It is critical that everyone in the value chain is aware of the rules – under PBR ‘91 not only the seller is liable for damages, but the customer and the processor – essentially everyone who played a part in the infringement”, added Jim Bagshaw, General Manager of Alliance Seed. “If a variety is protected by PBR it is protected, whether you call it common seed or if you call it by the variety name.”
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