The following excerpt (with patent links added) is from Making Sense of New Apple Varieties, Trademarks and Clubs: Current Status (2009):
‘Cameo’ (‘Caudle’): An open release, this variety was a chance seedling discovered in Washington State and once promoted by Dole Fruits (USPP#9068). ... Two new more highly colored sports of ‘Cameo’ have been discovered, ‘Dudek’ was granted USPP#19,766 in 2008 and ‘Cauflight’ was granted USPP#20,942 in 2010.
My three part question:
- Does “open release” mean that the ‘Caudle’ patent is not enforced?
- If no, does an open release weaken a patent?
- If no, how is that not considered to be inducing infringement?
Seabrook, J. Crunch. Building a better apple. The New Yorker, Annals of Agriculture, November 21, 2011.
But instead of an “open release,” which meant that anyone could grow the apple, the university decided to release MN 1914 as a “managed variety,” or what’s known in the business as a “club apple.”
Rooksby, J. H. Sue U American Association of University Professors, September-October 2012.
Enter a new species of apple developed at the university. The university decided to release the apple, branded the SweeTango, as a “managed variety” rather than an “open release,” which would have allowed anyone to grow it without payment to the university. Prior to Minnesota’s commercialization of the new apple, no university had ever released a managed variety of apple in the United States. Under this structure, the university selected an exclusive licensee that requires anyone wishing to grow the apple to join a consortium it has established, hubristically named “Next Big Thing.” Smaller growers in Minnesota not included in the consortium may grow limited numbers of the new apple but cannot sell them commercially except directly at farmers’ markets, in local grocery stores, and at farm stands. Growers outside of Minnesota cannot grow the new apples at all unless they join Next Big Thing.
This indicates that an Open Release means anyone can grow the plant. However, I still do not have any legal references to verify this.
Wang, D. How growing and marketing apples turned industrial. October 17, 2014.
Alyssa Vance, A. The Building of an Apple Brand: The SweeTango. Heavy Table, October 14, 2009.
Breining, G. Get a Load of This Apple, University of Minnesota, Winter 2010.