(AP) — BOISE, Idaho – Three Pacific Northwest universities face a federal lawsuit that accuses them of using, without permission, a Canadian inventor’s patented process to build a better yellow mustard seed.

Soheil Sharafabadi, who filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle, says the University of Idaho used his patent to produce new varieties of mustard seed with higher yields.

Washington State University and Oregon State University collaborated with the Idaho university, providing research stations and scientists, according to court documents.

The lawsuit, filed July 23, names all three schools and agricultural suppliers in Idaho, Washington, Montana and California that sell and distribute the mustard seeds Sharafabadi says were developed with his 1990 “Pseudoplastic Yellow Mustard Gum” patent (Patent No. 4,980,186).

Seed patent

Plaintiff: Soheil K Sharafabadi
Defendant: University of Idaho, Pacific Northwest Farmers Coop (Genesee), Pacific Northwest Farmers Coop (Colfax), Montana Specialty Mills LLC, McKay Seeds Company, LA Hearne Company, Oregon State University and Washington State University
Case Number: 2:2009cv01043
Filed: July 23, 2009
Court: Washington Western District Court
Office: Seattle Office [ Court Info ]
County: XX Outside US
Presiding Judge: Judge James L. Robart
Nature of Suit: Intellectual Property – Patent
Cause: 35:271 Patent Infringement
Jurisdiction: Federal Question
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff

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