Schreurs Reports Successful Enforcement Action in Ecuador
Piet Schreurs Holding B.V. (breeder), through its commercial representative in Ecuador, has filed a series of Intellectual Property claims before the National Plant Breeders Authority of Ecuador (a part of the National Intellectual Rights Service, SENADI) against several persons who had been exploiting Schreurs’ plant varieties without authorization.
Evidence. The alleged infringers were part of the same family group and for more than ten years had been operating a flower farm El Ángel, Northern Ecuador. Sometimes, the infringers operated on behalf of natural persons belonging to the family and, in some cases, on behalf of different companies. The names of the persons operating the flower farm were replaced each time they were discovered by the breeder. These findings were presented as evidence by Piet Schreurs Holding B.V. before the National Plant Variety Authority. Additionally, according to the established procedure, the breeder directly requested the National Plant Variety Authority to check the availability of licenses or any other documents providing authorization to propagate and grow Schreurs’ plant varieties.
Procedure. Reacting to Schreurs’ claim, the National Plant Breeders Authority conducted site inspections. Since the infringers were not able to present any valid licenses, the Authority determined that an infringement took place. After completing the investigation in May 2019, the Authority issued an administrative resolution (under Article 567 of the Organic Code of the Social Economy of Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation) ordering the following:
To impose a penalty of USD 22.132,00 on the infringers;
To prohibit infringers to perform any acts of production, reproduction, multiplication or propagation, offer for sale, export or import or any type of possession for commercial purposes of the plant varieties that are marketed under the trademark names CHERRY O!® and WATER COOL®.
To inform different public agencies, cargo agencies and airlines companies of this decision to prevent the infringers from exporting and/or importing illegally produced plant varieties, where Piet Schreurs Holding B.V. is a title-holder.
Although the infringers challenged the administrative resolution before the Collegiate Body of SENADI, Piet Schreurs Holding B.V. remains positive that this challenge will be dismissed as the decision of the National Plant Breeders Authority of Ecuador has solid legal grounds and is evidence-based.