Natural State-grown, Biologically Biological, and other legal news to ponder from Cape Law Firm
Arkansas expands its “Arkansas Grown” agricultural branding program
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture recently announced an expansion of the Arkansas Grown branding program with free membership to all grower and producer members. Arkansas Grown is a State registered certification mark (i.e., a trademark) that is intended to promote agricultural products produced in Arkansas. The Department of Agriculture administers the program for “raw or finished goods consisting of or made substantially from farm, forest and nursery products produced in Arkansas.” Producers can submit an application to the Department to use the Arkansas Grown mark with agricultural products that meet the Department’s standards for Arkansas-based production. A paid membership is also available to organizations that support and promote Arkansas products, such as retailers, restaurants, and vendors. To learn more about this special branding program, visit the program’s web site here.
Biologicals gaining a Biological following
The use of “Biologicals” in agriculture and horticulture is rapidly accelerating and expected to become a major input in the coming years according to a recent DTN article. There is no single all-encompassing definition for Biologicals, but they are typically referred to as microorganisms or other naturally occurring materials used as a beneficial input in crop production. Because they are viewed as “natural,” Biologicals are gaining attention as alternatives to conventional synthetic chemistry. These products are generally categorized by the purpose they serve:
- Biopesticides – for controlling insects, weeds, harmful fungi, and other pests.
- Biofertilizers – for enhancing nutrient uptake in plants.
- Biostimulants – for enhancing plant health and growth.
Regulation of Biologicals is a mixed bag and continues to evolve. EPA has indicated that pesticidal products will generally fall under FIFRA’s domain. Other products may fall outside of a regulatory system, or could be classified as fertilizers, soil conditioners, or soil amendments. While clarity in the regulatory status is sorely needed, the Biologicals business continues to grow and is expected to reach $20 billion in the next five years.
Cape Law Firm’s Frequently (or Randomly) Asked Questions
“What is an implied license?”
Intellectual property owners (whether a patent, trademark, copyright or other I.P.) may accidentally license their I.P. to another when they engage in conduct that indicates they have authorized another party to use it – in other words, a license will be implied. An implied license often arises in scenarios where there is no written or express license agreement between the parties, but their conduct and interactions suggest that there should be an agreement for at least some uses of the I.P. For example, consider a nursery that acquires a protected variety from the variety owner under circumstances indicating the nursery will propagate the variety for sale to its customers. In the absence of a license agreement, the nursery likely has an implied license to plant, increase, and sell the variety. Implied license is often raised as a defense to infringement allegations. Courts will look past what the parties have (or have not) said, an examine what they’ve actually done. Even written licenses may be expanded by implication if the parties may act in ways that exceed the permission stated in the license.