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NDSU Settles Two Seed Lawsuits

NDSU Settles Two Seed Lawsuits

Substantial penalties paid for illegal sales of Alsen and Glenn wheat varieties.

North Dakota State University Research Foundation recently announced that it settled two lawsuits involving Plant Variety Protection violations on the protected varieties Alsen and Glenn wheat.

In both cases, which were settled out of court, the parties agreed to the settlement of infringement issues by paying substantial monetary penalties for the unauthorized seed sales of NDSURF PVP-protected wheat varieties.

"PVP laws are in place to protect variety owners who have invested significant research dollars in developing new varieties, as well as the seedsmen who are legally propagating and selling certified seed," says Dale Zetocha, NDSURF executive director. "Research fees and royalties from the NDSURF varieties are used to help fund new variety development at North Dakota State University. Therefore, illegal seed sales of PVP-protected varieties can result in a significant loss in research fees that go toward future research and development of varieties."

"NDSURF has joined many other wheat variety developers and owners in a strong educational campaign promoting research and wheat seed stewardship through an educational cooperative known as the Farmers Yield Initiative (FYI)," Zetocha says.

The Farmers Yield Initiative, or FYI, is an informative campaign that promotes the legal way of doing business in the seed industry. The informative campaign highlights research, education, seed certification, and the enforcement of intellectual property rights as authorized under the Plant Variety Protection Act (PVP). The purpose of this initiative is to encourage the public to comply with existing seed laws embodied in the PVP and state seed certification standards, and FYI seeks to accomplish these goals by educating the public as to the existing laws and enforcing those laws. FYI is not advancing a common commercial seed enterprise and is not a formal trade organization. Further, FYI does not exist as a vehicle to share commercial information such as pricing, product availability, or other data useful in marketing goods. FYI does not have a purpose to change laws or to increase the market share of any one particular sponsor. Simply put, the goal of FYI is to raise awareness about legal seed trade

For more information on PVP, see the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service website at  and then go to Regulatory Programs.

Information on the Farmers Yield Initiative, including the benefits of planting certified seed or reporting an infringement, can be found at

Source: NDSU Extension Communications

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