Any company that grows and sells Sir Walter, the country’s most famous grass, without a license could be found in contravention of Federal Law and subject to fines, warned Australia’s largest grass breeder.
Lawn Solutions Australia has today applied to extend Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) for Stentaphrum Secondatum which includes Sir Walter and confirmed all royalties from the extension will continue to fund turf industry research and development. Without this PBR protection, Sir Walter could be grown by unlicensed growers without any set standard or accreditation required to do so.
In patent law, if an extension is granted, any company which has produced or sold the patented product pre or post the original protection expiry date, which in this case is the 28th of March 2018, while the extension is under consideration is subject to significant legal ramifications in retrospect.
Brent Redman, LSA Director and PBR holder, said the extension was vital to ensuring the nation’s favourite grass stayed true to type, and Australia continues to develop new improved turf varieties.
“LSA is the largest operator in the market, and we need to protect our patents and intellectual property for the betterment of the entire Australian turf industry,” Redman said. “What we are doing here is taking action to protect consumers, by ensuring they are getting the correct product, and protecting the single source of revenue for turf research and development in Australia.”
“We have held the rights to Sir Walter for twenty years and during that time Sir Walter has set the benchmark for superior qualities, suited to Australia’s climatic conditions.” “That’s why Sir Walter is now the most successful variety across Australia’s range of sub climates.”
LSA picked up the ball when the government cut all turf industry research funding in 2012 – a decision which left Australia heavily reliant on USA varieties.
“We developed one of the country’s only turf research and development programs, focusing on innovative breeding techniques and new varieties that will thrive in Australian conditions now and into the future,” Redman said.