Cosmic Crisp Lawsuit Pt 2

Cosmic Crisp Lawsuit Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. A company founded at Washington State University is at legal odds with the school over the rights to sell the much-anticipated Cosmic Crisp apple trees. Phytelligence sued last month, followed by WSU's countersuit last week.

WSU spokesman Phil Weiler says problems arose when Phytelligence sold 135,000 trees to an outside grower, unbeknownst to the university ...

WEILER ... "No, in fact, we didn't learn about it until much later and were, frankly, quite surprised that it took place because the agreement that we had in place was pretty clear and very specific about the fact that the trees that were propagated were WSU property and that a license had to be in place if a company wanted to sell the trees if they had propagated them through the research agreement."

Weiler says they're protecting 2-decades worth of work ...

WEILER ... "Part of the reason WSU felt compelled to bring a countersuit is because much of the funding for that 20-years of research was paid for by apple growers in the state of Washington. So, not only do we have a desire to protect our intellectual property, but we feel an obligation to those growers to protect the financial investment that they have made in the development of this particular variety."

Weiler says they left us with no choice ...

WEILER ... "So again, we felt like we were at a dead-end in the options that we had available to try and cooperatively bring them back into alignment with the original agreement and the legal course was the only thing left open to us."

Weiler says while the agreement allowed Phytelligence to grow the trees, they were not allowed to sell them without a license.

Another 5-million Cosmic Crisp trees are expected to be planted this year.

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