11 January 2024, New Delhi: PepsiCo now has the legal right to file for a patent for the specific kind of potato that is used in its Lay’s potato chips, owing to a Delhi High Court decision that decided in the company’s favor. This decision reverses a July 2023 ruling that upheld the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority’s 2021 revocation of the patent.
Farmers’ rights campaigner Kavitha Kuruganti objected, claiming the firm shouldn’t be able to patent a seed variety. The court rejected her arguments. The court’s judgment stated, “The appeal of PepsiCo is allowed… The renewal application as made by PepsiCo shall stand restored on the file of the Registrar who shall dispose of the same in accordance with law.”
In 1989, PepsiCo opened its first potato chip facility in India. The business supplies a particular variety of potato seeds to a group of farmers who sell their produce only to PepsiCo at a set price. Kuruganti’s arguments that PepsiCo’s lawsuits against farmers were against the public interest were likewise rejected by the court.
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