Stillwater, OK (March 25, 2019) - A federal court in Kansas awarded to Oklahoma Genetics, Inc. more than $3 million in damages for intentional infringement of the Plant Variety Protection Act. The judgment was against MK Farms and Dustin Kelley, also known as Dustin Sherwood. The defendants did not appeal the largest PVPA judgment in the United States.
The Plant Variety Protection Act prohibits unauthorized sales of seed including the Gallagher wheat variety developed by researchers at Oklahoma State University. This hessian-fly resistant variety is popular across much of Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.
The Gallagher variety is exclusively licensed to Oklahoma Genetics, Inc., which is a nonprofit 501(c) (5) corporation that promotes good stewardship and use of improved genetics, traits, and benefits of quality seed.
“We support the Oklahoma State University scientists who devoted years of study and money into making tomorrow’s small grain seedstock better for all producers,” says Mark Hodges, Executive Director of Oklahoma Genetics, Inc.
OGI’s mission is to educate our producers on the importance of being good stewards of exciting new plant breeding technology that is designed to meet current and future consumer demands, and to give producers the tools to succeed.
“In our effort to create a level playing field and respect those seedsmen who are working hard to deliver an excellent seed product to the farming community, we believe it is important to stop willful infringers,” says Hodges.
“Our connection with the Farmers’ Yield Initiative led to an anonymous tip which ultimately led to us holding Kelley accountable for his illegal conduct,” Hodges adds.
The Farmers' Yield Initiative is a coalition of public and private partners who offer educational information to producers and the industry. Illegal seed sales can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-482-5907.