IJsselstein — On July 12, 2021, an important preliminary injunction procedure was issued by the Court of Venice, following the emergency procedure initiated in March 2020 by Plantipp BV against nursery Vanin Vivai Società Agricola ss. The preliminary injunction proceedings were initiated after young plants were found on the local market, in possible infringement of the European patent rights on the following protected varieties:
- Euonymus japonicus ‘White Spire’, developed by breeder Green Beheer BV and protected by plant breeders’ rights in the EU under number 49713 dated 18.6.2018;
- Photinia x fraseri ‘BR2011′, developed by breeder Bart Van Roessel and protected by plant breeders’ rights in the EU under number 49648 dated 18.6.2018, marketed under the trade name Chico;
At the request of Plantipp BV, which represents the breeders of these varieties in Europe, the court first granted the Judicial Description as a matter of urgency and ex parte (ie without prior notice or summoning of the defendant), to allow the acquisition of further evidence.
This procedure was carried out in April 2020 at the nurseries of Vanin Vivai Società Agricola ss. and led to the discovery of several thousand specimens that may have infringed the breeder’s rights of the aforementioned protected varieties. After the further technical investigation carried out in the course of the dispute, and during cross-examination of parties involved, the Court considered the infringement of 2 of the 4 varieties to be likely, and therefore ruled as follows:
- Confirms the decree of description granted ex parte on 18.3.2020;
- prohibits the defendant Vanin Vivai Società Agricola ss from producing, propagating, marketing or promoting plants of the varieties Euonymus japonicus and Photinia x fraseri with the characteristics described in the expert report;
- Determined the penalty of € 20.00. = for each plant with the characteristics listed in the previous subparagraph and found to be produced, propagated, marketed or advertised by the accused after the notification of this order;
- orders the seizure at Vanin Vivai Società Agricola ss of the plant varieties Euonymus japonicus and Photinia x fraseri with the characteristics described in the expert report;
- orders the defendant Vanin Vivai Società Agricola ss to pay the costs of the proceedings in favour of the applicant Plantipp BV, estimated at €3,500.00. = for fees and €272.50. = for expenses, in addition to other legal costs;
- provides that the amount paid in the course of the case to the court’s technical expert and his assistant shall be reimbursed by both the applicant and the defendant, with both parties paying half.
Reinier van Rijssen, founder and director of Plantipp, said he was pleased with the ruling and added: “It is Plantipp BV’s job to promote the work of breeders. Behind every plant, there is a story in which hard work and people play the leading role. It is an important discovery for Plantipp BV that the work of breeders and licensees is respected and recognized in Italy. Plant breeders’ rights add value to plants and contribute to the development of our beautiful sector.”