According to a recent Reuters report, PepsiCo Inc is suing four farmers from India for cultivating a potato variety that the snack food maker says is an infringement of their patent. The potato under scrutiny, the FC5 variety, is grown for Lay's potato chips. It's lower moisture content is reportedly what makes snacks like potato chips so crunchy. PepsiCo is seeking just over $140,000 for each alleged infringement.
The farmers under fire are located in Gujarat, in the western part of the country where potatos, the most consumed vegetable in India, are most prominent. PepsiCo set up its first potato chips plant in India in 1989 and supplies the FC5 potato to a group of farmers.
In response to the suit, a group of Indian farmers has called for a boycott of Lay's chips and other Pepsico products.