Univ. Of Minn. Sued Over Fruit Tree Patents

Law360, New York (April 5, 2011, 4:03 PM EDT) -- The Regents of the University of Minnesota and a slew of nurseries were sued Friday in Missouri for allegedly lying about their rights to post-patent royalties for fruit trees in a bid to swipe business from competitors.

The suit, filed by Broom Orchard Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, claims the defendants have improperly imposed royalties on the sale of certain tree and plant varieties “by fraudulently leveraging expired and nonexistent patent rights.”

For one thing, the complaint said, the...
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