Infringement of Plant breeders’ rights happens principally in the use, propagation, sale or offer for sale of protected varieties without the authorisation of the breeder and thus without remuneration for the research.
The main counterfeiters are unlicensed nurseries that propagate and sell plants of protected varieties or fruit growers who use plants or grafts without paying royalties.
Considering that the buyer of counterfeit products is also an infringer, the entire commercial chain is equally impacted and a wholesaler or a central purchasing body can be jointly liable and sanctioned if they sell fruit from an illegal orchard.
Counterfeiting is developing more and more, both in France and in Europe. Because of easier access to multiplication techniques, use of Internet tools (sales offers or online catalogues) and economic situation.
This reduces return on investment to a minimum, to an extent which threatens the sustainability of varietal research. It is detrimental to the entire sector.
In addition, infringement actions help to protect licensees and their business partners from unfair competition and to ensure that end consumers receive a controlled quality product.