The Regents of the University of California v. California Berry Cultivars, LLC, et al, 3-16-cv-02477 (CAND April 27, 2017, Order) (Chhabria, USDJ)
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Domestically Controlled Foreign Breeding Activities Do Not Infringe Plant Patent
The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment of noninfringement of plaintiff's strawberry plant patents as to defendant’s breeding activities conducted in Spain. "[Defendant] imports into the United States the seeds developed from the breeding activities in Spain. [Defendant] germinates and grows these seeds alongside [plaintiff]-patented plants . . . 'as a point of comparison,' to evaluate the performance of the seedlings it is developing. . . . [Plaintiff] argues that the 'situs of infringement' is actually domestic because control over the breeding activities was exercised in the United States and [defendant] receives the benefit of its infringing use here. But the control-and-benefit test on which [plaintiff] relies applies to system patents. . . . [Plaintiff] has provided no justification or case law to support the application of [the control-and-benefit test discussed in NTP, Inc. v. Research in Motion, Ltd., 418 F.3d 1282, 1316-17 (Fed. Cir. 2005)] to the plant patents at issue in this case. The more logical 'situs of infringement' is Spain, the location 'where the offending act is committed.'"