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Delano Farms Co. v. California Table Grape Comm'n

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 25, 2013

DELANO FARMS COMPANY; FOUR STAR FRUIT, INC.; AND GERAWAN FARMING, INC., Plaintiffs,
v.
THE CALIFORNIA TABLE GRAPE COMMISSION; UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; AND TOM VILSACK, SECRETARY OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY), Defendants

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For Delano Farms Company, Plaintiff: Brian C Leighton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Offices of Brian C. Leighton, Clovis, CA; Lawrence Milton Hadley, LEAD ATTORNEY, McKool Smith Hennigan, Los Angeles, CA; Ralph B. Wegis, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Law Offices of Ralph B. Wegis, P.C., Bakersfield, CA.

For Four Star Fruit, Inc., Gerawan Farming Inc, Plaintiffs: Brian C Leighton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Offices of Brian C. Leighton, Clovis, CA; Lawrence Milton Hadley, LEAD ATTORNEY, McKool Smith Hennigan, Los Angeles, CA; Ralph B. Wegis, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Law Offices of Ralph B. Wegis, P.C., Bakersfield, CA.

For The California Table Grape Commission, Defendant: Brian Matthew Boynton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Deborah Anne Yates, PHV, PRO HAC VICE, Thomas Saunders, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, DC; Randolph D. Moss, PHV, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Leon B Greenfield, PHV, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP (DC), Washington, DC.

For United States of America, United States Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (In His Official Capacity), Defendants: John J. Fargo, LEAD ATTORNEY, Department of Justice, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, Washington, DC; Susan L. C. Mitchell, GOVT, LEAD ATTORNEY, United States Department of Justice, Commercial Litigation Branch, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Lawrence J. O'Neill, United States District Judge.

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MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE CROSS MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOCS 185, 192 & 194)

I. INTRODUCTION

This case concerns two varieties of table grape (i.e., grapes for fresh consumption), Autumn King and Scarlet Royal, developed and patented by the United States Department of Agriculture (" USDA" ) as a part of a program partially funded by the California Table Grape Commission (" Commission" ). Plaintiffs, Delano Farms Company, Four Star Fruit, Inc., and Gerawan Farming, Inc., seek to invalidate the patents for these two varieties under 35 U.S.C. ยง 102(b) on the ground ...


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