A federal court has granted summary judgment on a majority of issues in a dispute between scientists and the University of California Davis centered on the intellectual ­property rights of two strawberry varieties. Cal. Berry Cultivars, Inc. v. Regents of U. of Cal., No. 16-­2477 (N.D. Cal., filed May 2, 2015). Two former UC Davis scientists and their company sued the university alleging it refused to license the strawberry varieties they invented; additional details on the complaint appear in Issue 604 of this Update.

The court granted summary judgment on most of the issues, leaving open the scientists’ assertions that UC Davis breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing as well as the unfair competition claim. However, because the court also ruled in favor of UC Davis’ breach of contract claim, it noted that the jury verdict and final judgment may “sock it to both sides . . . and it may make sense from an equitable standpoint as well.”


Issue 633

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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