( Courtesy Sun World International )

Sun World International LLC, Palm Desert, Calif., has reached a settlement with one of its licensed growers in Australian in a dispute involving Sun World’s proprietary grape varieties.

According to Sun World, the Sunraysia-region grower admitted to propagating Sun World varieties without authorization in breach of its license with the California company. The Australian company was not named in Sun World’s news release on the settlement agreement, which included removal of the unauthorized vines and fines of more than $220,000.

During an audit of the grower’s property, Sun World varieties that were not part of its licensing agreement were found, according to the release.

“Whilst pleased with our ability to draw this matter to a successful close without court action, it is unsatisfactory to have a grower acting outside of our licence terms and acting in breach of our plant breeders rights,” Adam Knoll, Sun World’s Australia licensing manager, said in the release. “Our action should also demonstrate to the industry that Sun World is avidly both monitoring the market and enforcing its rights.”

Garth Swinburn, vice president of licensing said in the release that it’s disappointing but necessary to take enforcement actions to protect the investments of Sun World and the growers who are licensed to grow its proprietary varieties around the globe.

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