Growers found to have been producing Sun World’s Midnight Beauty black seedless grapes without a license face injunctions

In Egypt, three separate courts have issued injunctions against four grape growers found to be producing Sugrathirteen variety grapevines without a license, with experts sent to collect samples and other evidence from the infringing farms.

The Sugrathirteen black seedless grape variety is owned by California-based genetics, licensing and technology company Sun World International, whose fruit is marketed globally under Midnight Beauty and other brands.

In a statement, the company said it had a “long-standing business developing and licensing its proprietary plant varieties to growers worldwide, including to Egyptian farmers, who earn a premium for growing Sun World’s superior varieties”.

“Despite Sun World’s PVR [plant variety rights] registrations in Egypt, some unauthorised farmers have been found growing Sun World’s varieties, thus breaking Egyptian PVR and criminal laws, and damaging the Egyptian table grape export market for authorised growers,” the statement continued.

According to Sun World’s vice president of IP and general counsel, Michael Stimson, “the company will enforce the full extent of its rights against these infringers, seeking to stop illegal production and damages for past infringement”.

Sun World said it was encouraging Egyptian growers to obtain a license to plant and propagate Sugrathirteen vines and to sell the fruit under its authorised Midnight Beauty brand.

“Licensed growers avoid criminal legal actions and civil liability and are welcome members of the community of grape producers who respect Egyptian law,” the company stated.