Court decision on Great Green versus Green Emerald grape varieties

Sheehan Genetics proceeding against Jacov P. Dulcich

This article was featured in Fresh Plaza.  To view the original article, please click here.

Two years ago Sheehan Genetics LLC., a US subsidiary company of the SNFL Group that is engaged in the breeding of table grapes, started proceedings against a company in California, Jakov P Dulcich and Sons, LLC. which is a large producer of table grapes, to protect Sheehan’s table grape variety Great Green. 
“The issue was that Dulcich had claimed that its variety Green Emerald was their new variety and had applied for and been granted a US plant patent on the variety. Following the examination of Green Emerald grapes by Sheehan it was clear that Dulcich’s Green Emerald was Sheehan’s Great Green. The US Patent and Trademark Office declared what it terms as “an interference” to determine whether Green Emerald and Great Green were the same variety and if so, who invented it,” according to Duncan Macintyre, a spokesperson for Sheehan.
On Wednesday, August 16 the US Patent and Trademark Office confirmed Green Emerald is Sheehan’s very successful variety Great Green.

Duncan Macintyre said “this is a very important decision from the USPTO. It clarifies the issue of the inventorship in the variety that Dulcich had been calling Green Emerald by establishing that the variety is, and always has been, in fact the Sheehan variety Great Green. It is important for all growers planting this variety in the US, and throughout the world, to know this. Sheehan has a world renowned grape breeding program with many existing world beating varieties for sale and many more under development and this case sends a clear message that Sheehan will take all necessary action to protect its varieties in the best interest of its licensee growers and to make sure that any party that tries to appropriate its hard work and expertise in breeding grape varieties is held to account.”

In a statement from Jakov P. Dulcich & Sons, Nick Dulcich says: “our attorneys have reviewed the PTAB decision and believe it to be in error. We intend to appeal the decision. We also intend to challenge the patentability of Sheehan’s Great Green. The marketplace recognizes the distinctness and superiority of the Green Emerald in comparison to the Great Green and we believe it will continue to do so despite Sheehan’s claims.”

Click here to read the official document regarding the court decision.

Additional Articles