Grapa wins legal case against illegal planting in Egypt

July 13 , 2022

Breeder and licenser of premium table grape varieties Grapa has won a legal case against an illegal grower of Early Sweet table grapes in Egypt, setting a major precedent.

In Egypt, a key player in the global table grape industry, the infringement of Intellectual Property rights in the form of unauthorized and illegal planting is prevalent.

The extensive measures and activities of Grapa together with the EPPA (Egyptian Plant Protection Associates) have led to Grapa winning the case, imposing the uprooting of 11 acres of illegal Early Sweet plantation. 

The Court ruled that all Early Sweet vines planted on the farm should be uprooted and destroyed, due to the infringement of the law on the protection of Intellectual Property Rights, which criminalizes violations on protected plant material i.e. planting protected varieties without the consent of the owner of the variety. 

In addition, the verdict banned the grower from selling, propagating or grafting any grapes or vines of the variety Early Sweet in the future.

Furthermore, the law stipulates that in the event of a recurrence of the incident, the penalty will be imprisonment for a period ranging from three months to a year, as well as a fine.

At the end of June, in implementation of the judgment, 9000 vines of illegal Early Sweet vines were uprooted by enforcement of the court and in presence of local authorities. 

This is a pivotal step, as it shows that the legal system and authorities in Egypt are determined to protect Intellectual Property Rights, especially in the wake of the country joining the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). 

The move will naturally boost Egypt’s image in international markets, thus increasing Egypt's ability to access new protected varieties and achieve the highest return from agriculture, as well as reducing the cost of production and maximizing the return to farmers for these protected crops.

In a statement, Grapa thanked the Egyptian Minister of Agriculture H.E. El Sayed EL Qosair and his team for their enormous efforts they have made to create a healthy climate for breeders to invest in Egypt and introduce new varieties, and for their efforts together with the Phytosanitary Authorities to regulate the export process of fresh grapes.

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