UK supermarkets warned over “unauthorised” Tango sales

Mon 18/09/2023 by Richard Wilkinson

Nadorcott Protection (NCP), which owns the intellectual property for the award-winning Nadorcott variety of mandarin, has contacted nine major retailers in the UK over the alleged unauthorised sale of Tango/Tang Gold mandarins. Representatives of NCP claim to have identified the unauthorised sale of Tango/Tang Gold mandarins in Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose stores in the UK. NCP wrote that the unauthorised dealings in Tango/Tang Gold mandarins infringe the UK Plant Breeders’ Rights that cover the Nadorcott mandarin. 

Letters from NCP reportedly warned the retailers of the “potential risks associated with unauthorised dealings in Tango/Tang Gold mandarins in the UK”. Ongoing proceedings are set to establish whether Tango/Tang Gold mandarins constitute an “Essentially Derived Variety. Should this classification be established either by the courts in the said ongoing or further proceedings, there will be a large impact on retailers, which will potentially apply retrospectively,” NCP said.

The EU’s Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO), confirmed that just two differences exist between the Nadorcott mandarin and Tango/Tang Gold. “In light of these findings, NCP views the Tango/Tang Gold mandarin as a dependent and ‘Essentially Derived Variety’ from the protected Nadorcott mandarin,” NCP concluded.

NCP’s Mohamed Benbiga said: “We have been clear in our view, since the launch of Tango in the European market, that Tango/Tang Gold mandarins should be classified as an Essentially Derived Variety of the protected Nadorcott variety. We will continue to take all steps necessary to vigorously defend our exclusive Nadorcott rights, as well as taking steps to prevent the unauthorised exploitation of NCP’s exclusive IP.”


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