Bharat Express

PepsiCo Suffers Setback In Delhi Court Appeal Against Revocation Of Potato Patent

PepsiCo is the second major American corporation to face patent infringement charges in India


The Delhi High Court has dismissed PepsiCo Inc’s appeal against a judgement rescinding a patent for a potato variety developed solely for the New York-based company’s popular Lay’s potato chips.

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority removed intellectual protection given to PepsiCo’s FC5 potato variety in 2021, claiming that India’s statutes prohibit patenting seed varieties.

The authority revoked PepsiCo’s patent cover when farmers’ rights campaigner Kavitha Kuruganti argued that the business cannot claim a patent over a seed variety.

PepsiCo filed an appeal with the Delhi High Court against the patent cover’s revocation.

PepsiCo’s appeal against the authority’s judgement was dismissed by Delhi High Court judge Navin Chawla in a judgement dated July 5.

In a statement, a PepsiCo India spokesperson stated, “We are aware of the order… and are in the process of reviewing the same”.

The US snack and beverage firm, which opened its first potato chip facility in India in 1989, provides the FC5 seed variety to a group of farmers, who then sell their produce to the corporation at a preset price.

PepsiCo has asserted that it created the FC5 variety alone and registered the trait in 2016. The FC5 variety contains less moisture, which is essential to manufacture snacks such as potato chips.

Ms Kuruganti said in a statement, “It is good that Justice Navin Chawla’s judgement upheld the revocation order… ”

PepsiCo sued certain Indian farmers in 2019 for farming the FC5 potato variety, accusing them of infringing on its patent. In addition, the corporation wanted more than 10 million rupees ($121,050) in damages for each alleged patent violation.

PepsiCo dropped its litigation against farmers within months.

The Delhi High Court dismissed PepsiCo’s allegations of public interest violations in its decision.

PepsiCo is the second major American corporation to face patent infringement charges in India.

Monsanto, now controlled by German drugmaker Bayer AG, withdrew from some Indian businesses following a long-running intellectual property battle.

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