Daily Management Review

PepsiCo Files Patent Infringement Case Against Indian Farmers Related To ]Potato Farming


PepsiCo Files Patent Infringement Case Against Indian Farmers Related To ]Potato Farming
One of the largest snacks food and carbonated drinks making companies in the world PepsiCo, has filed a legal suite against Indian farmers alleging that the farmers had cultivated a particular variety of potato that had been licensed by them which means that its patent for that purpose had been infringed by the farmers. This was announced on Friday by the US based company. 
The case was filed in the Indian city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state of India and during a hearing on the case held in the court, PepsiCo said that it was ready to bring the matter to a settlement is the farmers chose not to use the registered variety of potato for farming or if they were ready to take a license for farming of the potato variety from the company and continue cultivation.
It will seek instructions from his clients by the next hearing date, due on June 12, said the counsel of the farmers reacting to this submission by PepsiCo in the court.
The case against the farmers was filed in relation to them cultivating a very specific variety of potato which is used by PepsiCo to manufacture potato chips by it which is sold in India under the brand of Lay’s. This that particular variety of potato is cultivated by and supplied to the company by about 24,000 farmers scattered in 10 to 12 states in the country where cultivation is done on the a contractual basis.
This specific variety of potato is registered under The Protection of Plant Varieties and Protection of Farmers Rights Act 2001.
The accused farmers had been illegally growing, producing and selling that specific variety of potato without the legal permission from the company, said the company’s counsel at the court. The company also claimed that this act of the farmers had violated the statutory right that had been granted to it under the act mentioned earlier.
After PepsiCo filed case against four farmers, an ex-parte ad-interim order restraining the farmers from growing the potato variety was delivered by the Ahmedabad City Commercial Court earlier this month.
According to estimates and studies, the Indian market for potato chips is estimated to be worth about 370 million U.S. dollars and it is anticipated to register a growth of 9.7 per cent at a compounded annual growth rate till 2023