How we Monitor the Marketplace:
CPTA scans newspapers and the internet for potential violators and brings them to the attention of our members. Frequently, other CPTA members report leads on violations and pass them along to the CPTA.
When the CPTA receives a request to determine if an infringement has occurred, we take numerous steps to find out if this has happened.
• We confirm if the advertisement of common seed indicates a potential protected variety
• The seller’s name or phone number is checked against CPTA’s database
• A monitoring email is sent to the seller and asks for information on the variety offered
If we determine a protected variety is being offered for sale, the CPTA provides several services should the variety holder wish to pursue further action:
• We report the response from the seller and summarize information known about the infringer to the variety holder
• If a small amount of seed is being offered by a first-time infringer, we send a warning email to that infringer informing them of their breach and requested a verbal or written promise not to do it again
• If a serial infringer is at work and/or a large amount of protected seed is being offered, CPTA refers the case to an investigator who verifies details of infringement
• The investigator gathers further information about the infringer and obtains information confirming the infringer’s offer to sell the protected variety
• The investigator requests documentation confirming the offer and/or a sample of the seed
An important part of this process is determining what class the infringer falls into. Classes of infringer include:
• Unwitting: This kind of infringer is unaware they are in breach of PBR rules. They tend to be offering small amounts of seed, are apologetic, and are unlikely to reoffend once they are made aware.
• Unwilling: This infringer knows they are in breach of PBR and offers a large amount of a single variety of seed. They justify their behaviour by citing difficult circumstances like poor growing conditions for a specific crop.
• Undeterred: This infringer is highly organized, knows they are in breach, and offers large amounts of multiple varieties. They tend to exhibit a “Robin Hood” complex, believing they are “standing up” for growers by selling protected varieties at a lower price. Many of these undeterred infringers worked in a legitimate seed business prior to making the decision to “go underground” and adopt their current illegitimate business practices.