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A massive shipment of South African blueberries was recently confiscated by Dutch customs following a plant breeders’ rights issue with United Exports.

The intellectual property issue between the South African company, Ross Berries, and the Australian company, United Exports, led to the confiscation of a container with 20 pallets of 3kg bulk cartons of premium blueberry fruit in Rotterdam. The container was earmarked for distribution and sale in the European Union (EU) without the authority of United Exports, reports IOL.

Union Exports says they hold the community plant variety rights in the OZblu blueberry plants and their fruit in the EU and the rest of the world.

Ross Berries, on the other hand, believe they are lawfully entitled to export and sell the fruit of those plants without authority or consent required in terms of both the South African and European laws.

Fresh Plaza reports that Ross Berries was attempting to export the fruit in flagrant disregard and abuse of the proprietary rights of United Exports.

A representative of United Exports told IOL that the EU customs authority has notified the authorities at all points of entry across the EU to monitor the import of South African blueberries to prevent further infringement of United Exports’ intellectual property rights.

The issue is still ongoing and a decision hasn’t been made yet.

Image credit: Food and Wine Magazine

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