Catt targets breeders’ rights abuse

Legal action threatened over plant plagiarism.

A pioneering grower has snapped after years of trademark abuse of a showcase plant by threatening court action for those who flout rules on Plant Breeders’ Rights. Peter Catt became so angry over “plagiarism” of his Choisya ternata Sundance ‘Lich’ that he took out adverts in the horticultural press to remind growers they needed permission to grow the plant and had to pay royalties. “It’s been going on for years and I’m so fed up,” said the managing director of Liss Forest Nursery, Hampshire. “I want to launch a new Choisya and don’t want the same bloody thing happening. If I show some muscle now it will pay in the future.” Catt, who registered the plant name around 20 years ago, sold the Choisya under the Brica name in France. Changes in EU rules rendered that name obsolete but growers in Holland, Belgium and Denmark continue to sell under the Brica name, he said. “This is plagiarism. I wish I knew exactly how many growers are involved, but it’s many thousands. If I can stem the flow by making garden centres and other buyers realise they are at fault, hopefully European growers will come round to paying royalties.” The new-launch Choisya, he said, would also be a dwarf gold-leaved plant, but aimed at the pot-plant market.

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