Pepsi’s dropped lawsuit over patented potato raises global questions about intellectual property

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Image: Evan-Amos, via Wikimedia Commons

A dispute between small, local farmers in India and a corporate giant over a patent on the type of potatoes used in Lay’s potato chips ended …. when the company backed off amid political pressure.

PepsiCo Inc., which owns Lay’s, withdrew their lawsuits against the Indian farmers after discussions with the government. Pepsi officials say they created the FC5 variety, which has a reduced moisture content making it better to better make potato chips with.

Officials had initially said the four farmers were infringing on a patent on the FC5 variety of potatoes — saying they would drop the lawsuit if farmers chose to sell their crops to Pepsi, or stop growing them.

Related article:  Biotech potatoes: A case study of how genetic engineering can improve our food supply

But after political pressure …. the company dropped the suits …. [T]here are implications for Canadian farmers and farmers around the world. While genetically modified plants are not patentable, the genetic constructs used to make them are, Sana Halwani, a Toronto-based intellectual property litigator, explained to Global News.

Read full, original article: Pepsi’s lawsuit over farmers planting potatoes used in Lays chips dropped, but implications linger

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