May 15, 2019

PepsiCo ‘Lay’s’ down its lawsuit against Indian potato farmers

Power to the potatoes: After accusing subsistence farmers in India of growing its patented potatoes, PepsiCo has dropped its lawsuit.

PepsiCo may have met its mash: The consumer packaged goods powerhouse has dropped its intellectual property lawsuit accusing Indian farmers of growing its patented potatoes, CBS reports

The Lay’s owner had created a unique, low-moisture type of spud designed specially for its classic chips — then later filed claims against subsistence farmers in Gujarat for infringing upon its potato rights, seeking payments of $143k from each farmer. 

David and Goliath, but with potatoes

In response, the All India Farmers’ Forum (AIFF) accused PepsiCo of bullying small-time producers, citing the Farmers Rights Act 2001, which allows “farmers to save, use, sow, exchange or sell farm produce as long as they do not sell branded seed.” 

The AIFF also called for a national boycott of PepsiCo products.

The organization called PepsiCo’s legal concession a “significant victory” in the fight to protect small-fry farmers, but is still demanding that PepsiCo “come clear and walk the talk or brace for more intense protests.”

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