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PepsiCo's Appeal Against The Cancellation Of The Potato Patent Is Rejected By An Indian Court

PepsiCo's Appeal Against The Cancellation Of The Potato Patent Is Rejected By An Indian Court
An Indian court dismissed PepsiCo Inc.'s appeal against a decision to revoke a patent on a potato variety bred specifically for the well-known Lay's potato chips produced by the New York-based business.
The FC5 potato variety owned by PepsiCo had intellectual property rights that were cancelled in 2021 by the Protection of Plant types and Farmers' Rights (PPVFR) Authority on the grounds that India's laws do not permit a patent on seed types.
After Kavitha Kuruganti, a farmers' rights activist, contended that PepsiCo cannot claim a patent over a seed variety, the authority removed PepsiCo's patent cover.
The Delhi High Court received a petition from PepsiCo protesting the patent cover's cancellation.
Judge Navin Chawla of the Delhi High Court denied PepsiCo's appeal against the authority's decision in an order dated July 5.
"We are aware of the order ... and are in the process of reviewing the same," a PepsiCo India spokesperson said in a statement.
The American snack and beverage manufacturer provides the FC5 seed variety to a group of farmers who then sell their produce to the business at a defined price. The company established its first potato chip facility in India in 1989.
The FC5 variety was exclusively created by PepsiCo, and the trait was registered in 2016. The FC5 cultivar has less moisture than is necessary to produce snacks like potato chips.
"It is good that the judgement of Justice Navin Chawla upheld the revocation order . . .", Kuruganti said in a statement.
2019 saw PepsiCo file a lawsuit against a few Indian farmers for growing the FC5 potato variety, claiming the producers violated the company's patent. For claimed patent infringement, the business additionally demanded more than 10 million rupees ($121,050) each claimant.
PepsiCo quickly dropped its claims against farmers.
In its ruling, the Delhi High Court rejected claims that PepsiCo had violated any public interest.
PepsiCo is the second large American company to experience problems with patent infringement in India.
The seed company Monsanto, which is now owned by the German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG, withdrew from various operations in India as a result of a protracted intellectual property dispute.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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