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Certhon found in favor in proceedings against Plantlab

Is indoor farming patentable or not? That’s the question at stake in a legal battle that has raged for several years between Certhon and PlantLab.

Last week, the Court of Appeal in The Hague confirmed the annulation of PlantLab’s Dutch patent on their indoor farming cultivation system. This is a victory for Certhon. As the Court of Appeal has declared that the company has not infringed the patent in any way, Certhon speaks of ‘a victory for the entire indoor farming sector’. In the meantime, PlantLab is holding on to the patent and is awaiting the European ruling and therefore the case is not yet closed.

PlantLab has a pending objection against the rejection of its Dutch patent. The decision on this is subject to the Technical Board of Appeal’s (TKB) judgment on the validity of PlantLab’s European patent. In 2017, the European Patent Office (EPO) declared the patent as valid. Objections by Certhon and others against the ruling were rejected.

Sharing knowledge
Both parties have responded to the recent court ruling. Certhon advocates transparency to push the sector forward. “The judgment of the Court of Appeal is a victory for the entire sector,” Lotte van Rijn, General Manager at Certhon noted. “The ruling is a positive stimulus to further develop and optimize indoor farming across the board.

“At Certhon, we take our product development and clients very seriously. If we bring technology and plants together, the growing possibilities for our clients are endless. Optimal growing recipes, extreme water savings, grip on growth, ingredients and quality, combined with yield optimization by autonomous growing systems and robotization; that is where the added value of our systems in indoor farming lies.”

John van der Sande, Chief Innovation Officer at Certhon noted, “On the one hand, we are extremely pleased with this ruling. However, on the other hand, it is a shame that these proceedings have cost so much extra effort and energy. Fortunately, with this ruling, we can continue with what we are good at. Namely, developing reliable technology to improve cultivation processes. We are only at the beginning of the enormous potential of indoor farming. We are ready to take the next steps, as this ruling strengthens us tremendously.”

LED as a heating component
PlantLab says it is surprised that the court does not consider LED lights as a heating component that can be used to warm up leaves. This leads to the heart of the matter: The patent in question is about a closed environment growing system where the temperature of the cultivation system and substrate is controlled, for example lighting.

PlantLab, therefore, believes that its patent has a broad reach. “The minute you start to control the cultivation by influencing the temperature, the patent applies,” they stated in 2017. It is unknown when the ruling of the TKB can be expected. After this ruling or other potential proceedings, Certhon can reinstate the case.

For more information:
ABC Westland 555
P.O. Box 90
2685 ZH Poeldijk
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 174 22 50 80
Fax: +31 174 22 50 81


Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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