Jury Finds for UC Davis in Strawberry IP Infringement
A California jury found that retired University of California, Davis, professors willfully infringed the university’s patents on strawberries they developed in the school’s program. Regents of Univ. of Cal. v. Cal. Berry Cultivars, No. 16-2477 (N.D. Cal., verdict filed May 24, 2017). The professors formed a private strawberry-breeding company, California Berry Cultivars, after retiring from UC Davis. The jury found they had engaged in conversion, willful infringement, breach of duty of loyalty and breach of fiduciary duty, but released them from allegations that they interfered with the university’s business contracts or prospective economic relationships. Additional details appear in Issues 604 and 633 of this Update.