【News】 Unauthorized uses of Japanese F 1 hybrid strawberry “Yotsuboshi” in foreign countries to be blocked with new plant patent protection system (Jan. 15, 2017)

Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization or NARO headquartered at Tsukuba city in Ibaraki prefecture has decided to introduce a new system to prevent unauthorized commercialization of Japanese patented strawberry varieties in foreign countries.

NARO’s Research Center, based at Koshi city in Kumamoto prefecture, agreed to collaborate in implementing the system with three prefectural governments of Mie, Kagawa and Chiba, which succeeded in jointly developing a new strawberry variety named “Yotsuboshi” (literally, four stars).

Under the new system of protecting strawberry breeders’ right, NARO’s Research Center and three prefectural governments will recruit a cooperative corporation in respective foreign countries.

The cooperative corporation will be granted with an exclusive right of business operations including marketing of “Yotsuboshi” plants in its country, if it takes steps with its own payments, necessary to register the strawberry patent and prevent unauthorized uses of the plant in the country.

It was difficult for holders of strawberry plant breeder’s right to take measures against infringement by strengthening management of patented plant varieties in multiple foreign countries. The new system is expected to be helpful in taking these measures in an effective way.

The Agricultural Research Institute of Mie Prefectural Government plays a role of recruiting a cooperative company in each country.

The cooperative company in a foreign country is required to take measures to register the “Yotsuboshi” variety as well as prevent unauthorized uses in the country on behalf of its Japanese contractor. Costs incurred for taking these measures will be paid by the company.

And the company will be entitled to exclusively carry out business activities such as sales of “Yotsuboshi” strawberry seeds and plants. It will be provided in the contract, however, that production and marketing of the strawberry fruits should be limited only within a territory of the country concerned.

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