Vorsa received a patent for the Crimson Queen hybrid in 2007. Rutgers licensed the hybrid and two companion varieties to more than 40 grower-members of the Ocean Spray cooperative. Rutgers began receiving royalties on its patent this year.
Earlier this month, the Research and Development Council of New Jersey awarded Vorsa a 2008 Thomas Alva Edison patent award. The Council issues these awards annually to recognize New Jersey inventions in business categories that benefit the state's economy, including agriculture.
Crimson Queen is only the second cranberry in the history of the United States to be patented.
"The earlier patented hybrid improved the fruit's red color but didn't improve yield and proved to be susceptible to early rot," Vorsa said. "So until Crimson Queen came along, growers had to rely on traditional unpatented varietals."
Crimson Queen plants are now grown in Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New Jersey the first, second and third leading cranberry producing states in the U.S. They are also grown in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
|Contact: Carl Blesch|