Delhi High Court dismisses Pepsi appeal against IPR revocation order

Delhi High Court Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: 09 July 2023 at 12:42 IST

Delhi High Court Dismisses Pepsi’s Appeal, Revokes Patent-Protected Potato Variety Used for Chips.

On July 5, the Delhi High Court rejected Pepsi’s appeal against an order that invalidated the company’s patent-protected potato variety used in chip production. Pepsi had filed the appeal under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001, challenging the December 3, 2021, order. The order revoked Pepsi’s registration for the FL 2027 potato variety on several grounds specified in sections 34(a), (b), (c), and (h) of the Act. Furthermore, Pepsi’s application for renewal of the registration was also rejected.

The grounds for the revocation of Pepsi’s protection include incorrect information provided by the applicant, failure of the breeder to provide the registrar with required information, documents, or materials for registration, and the certificate of registration not being in the public interest.

The revocation order, issued in December 2021, resulted in the removal of Pepsi’s Plant Variety Protection certificate for the potato variety. Plant variety protection grants legal rights to breeders, known as Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBRs), offering exclusive rights to the breeder of the registered variety.

PepsiCo Inc, the appellant, is a company involved in the production, distribution, and sale of non-alcoholic beverages such as Pepsi, Mirinda, and 7UP, as well as salted snacks like Lay’s and Uncle Chipps. Pepsi claimed that the FL 2027 potato variety is specifically suitable for making chips due to its low external defects, high dry matter/high solids content, and stable sugars. However, Pepsi emphasized that the variety is not suitable for everyday cooking or as a table potato in households due to its longer cooking time and higher energy requirement. The company utilizes the FL 2027 variety for manufacturing potato chips under the Lay’s brand.

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