September 19, 2017 / 12:37 AM / a year ago

UC Davis, strawberry breeders reach $2.5 mln settlement

Two retired leaders of the strawberry breeding program at the University of California, Davis will forgo $2.5 million in royalty payments under a settlement agreement filed Friday, four months after a jury found the men had breached their employment contracts and willfully infringed the school’s patents by forming a private company.

Under the settlement agreement filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the money will be withheld from royalties that Douglas Shaw and Kirk Larson are entitled to receive on 24 cultivars the men developed, patented and assigned to UC Davis between 1986 and 2014. The school’s breeding program, which started in 1945, is responsible for about half of California’s $2.5 billion strawberry business.

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