The Spanish Guardia Civil charged J.L.R.C., aged 52, and M.N.G.M, aged 43, owners of a seed company located in the province of Almeria, with the alleged reproduction, sale and marketing of tomato varieties intellectually protected by patents.
The Guardia Civil agents, along with inspectors of Andalusia's Delegation of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, seized six batches of 32,000 tomato seedlings. The plants showed clear evidence of their unlawful use and could have reached a value of 30,000 Euro in the market.
The nature of the crime lies in the grafting process, as the leftover stumps were re-used by leaving them on the trays and facilitating the growth of new stalks through the cotyledons, obtaining two separate plants of the same variety, in this case, of a protected tomato variety.
Through this process, a larger amount of plants were obtained from fewer seeds. The Guardia Civil agents gathered more than 40 samples of the seized plants together for their analysis at the Institute for Agricultural and Food Research.