Imazio Nursery, Inc. v. Dania Greenhouses
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
69 F.3d 1560, 36 U.S.P.Q.2d 1673 (1995)
Bruno Imazio, owner of Imazio Nursery, Inc. (Imazio) (plaintiff), secured a plant patent for an asexually reproduced variety of Erica persoluta, a heather. Imazio brought an infringement suit against Coastal Nursery (defendant), Jess Rodrigues (defendant), and Donna Rodrigues (defendant) (collectively, Coastal) in federal district court. Imazio and Coastal differed in their interpretations of the word “variety” as used in the patent statute to refer to a new and distinct variety of plant. Imazio contended that the term encompassed a taxonomical range of plants, but Coastal argued that the term should be construed in its more vernacular sense to refer to a thing that differed from others of the same general kind. Coastal also argued that it had independently developed the allegedly infringing Erica persoluta variety. The court held that Coastal’s plant had the same essential characteristics as the plant claimed by Imazio’s patent and granted summary judgment in favor of Imazio. Coastal appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rich, J.)
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