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.


Issue 636

About The Author


For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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