SIPA Membership Benefits

The Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance (SIPA) is established to promote the understanding and value of seed innovation as well as to facilitate and promote the respect of intellectual property rights for the benefit of members, growers, industry associates, consumers and the agricultural community.

Our members include leading seed companies and service providers from throughout the United States and the world. SIPA welcomes membership from across the seed industry, including, growers, producers, authorized dealers, brokers, suppliers, service providers, universities, as well as state and federal agencies.

SIPA Annual Fees and Participation Structure

*SIPA currently has two Divisions: Field Crops and Flowers & Vegetables; other Divisions may be added to SIPA in the future.

FULL MEMBER

Company Type

  • Integrated Seed Companies

Member Benefits

  • Full voting rights at both Program and Division levels
  • Right to participate in the Divisions
  • Access to educational materials and communications from SIPA

Cost

  • $10,000  PROGRAM MEMBER LEVEL
  • $7,500  *PER COMPANY PER DIVISION

ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Company Type

  • Integrated Seed Companies
  • Production Companies
  • Brokers
  • Authorized Dealers
  • Seed Cleaners

Member Benefits

  • Right to participate in the Divisions
  • Access to educational materials and communications from SIPA

Cost

  • $5,000  PROGRAM MEMBER LEVEL
  • $3,750  *PER COMPANY PER DIVISION

SUPPORTING MEMBER

Company Type

  • Integrated Seed Companies
  • Production Companies Brokers
  • Authorized Dealers
  • Seed Cleaners
  • Service providers
  • Attorneys
  • Auditors
  • Labs
  • Investigators

Member Benefits

  • Access to educational materials and communications from SIPA
  • May be asked to participate in a specific Division (Divisional participation is limited to 10% of the total number of members)

Cost

  • $1,000  PROGRAM MEMBER LEVEL
  • $500  *PER COMPANY PER DIVISION

INSTITUTION MEMBER

Company Type

  • University and Government agencies

Member Benefits

  • Access to educational materials and communications from SIPA
  • May be asked to participate in a specific Division

Cost

  • FREE  PROGRAM MEMBER LEVEL
  • Universities are welcome to participate at all levels of membership

SIPA Member Expectations

REQUIREMENTS

SIPA requests the following of all of its members:

  • Signing the SIPA Code of Ethics, which shows your support to protect intellectual property;
  • Identifying an individual to serve as key contact in communication with SIPA;
  • Helping your organization learn more about SIPA by sharing materials developed to facilitate education and information on innovation and intellectual property in the seed industry;
  • Implementing and completing the IP Enforcement Readiness Checklist;
  • Updating SIPA with member’s crops and brands;
  • Promoting SIPA by utilizing the SIPA logo and/or SIPA Tip Line logo in compliance with the SIPA Trademark Use Guidelines; and
  • Providing a link to the SIPA website on your website.

 

Supporting Member Expectations

The Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance (“SIPA”) welcomes membership from throughout the seed industry.

Supporting Members are an integral part of the SIPA program, however, as a Supporting Member of the program, SIPA requests support of the SIPA program by implementing the following where possible:

  • Signing the SIPA Code of Ethics;
  • Identify a contact for communication with SIPA;
  • Help SIPA facilitate education and information on intellectual property in the seed industry, including but not limited to: Providing assistance in the development, distribution and/or communication of education and information on intellectual property, when appropriate, including but not limited to, live or recorded presentations, free of charge.
  • Review the IP Enforcement Readiness Checklist and consider implementation of those points that support your business activities;
  • Promote SIPA by utilizing the SIPA logo and/or SIPA Tip Line logo; and
  • Provide a link to the SIPA website on your website.

Institutional Member Expectations

The Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance (“SIPA”) welcomes membership from throughout the seed industry.

Institutional Members are an integral part of the SIPA program, however, as a non-dues paying member of the program, SIPA requests Institutional Members support the SIPA program by implementing the following where possible:

  • Sign the SIPA Code of Ethics;
  • Identify an institutional contact for communication with SIPA;
  • Making intellectual property a high priority in the institution’s activities and education;
  • Help SIPA facilitate education and information on intellectual property in the seed industry;
  • Review the IP Enforcement Readiness Checklist and consider implementation of those points that support your business activities;
  • Promote SIPA by utilizing the SIPA logo and/or SIPA Tip Line logo where possible; and
  • Provide a link to the SIPA website on your institutional website.

SIPA Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics

Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance (“SIPA”) member companies should sustain and advance the integrity, honor, and prestige of the seed industry by:

  • Complying at all times with the SIPA Antitrust Compliance Policy;
  • Understanding and complying with valid and relevant federal and state laws as well as foreign national laws relating to intellectual property rights in seed and seed technologies, including judicial interpretations of such laws;
  • Establishing best practices for the protection or enforcement of seed and seed technologies;
  • Honoring valid contracts, including but not limited to, production, marketing, distribution, or sale of seed, between seed companies, service providers, suppliers, and customers involving the use and protection of intellectual property as well as governing confidentiality and trade secrets; and
  • Honoring final, unappealable rulings by a United States court of law or administrative body related to intellectual property.

DOWNLOAD THE SIPA CODE OF ETHICS AGREEMENT

SIPA Antitrust Compliance Policy

Policy

Commitment to full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the antitrust laws is a fundamental commitment of the Seed IP Education and Enforcement Program (herein “Program”).

Because the Program brings competitors together to address industry concerns, we must be especially careful not to agree to actions that might be interpreted as anticompetitive. Guidelines for the pursuit of this commitment are set forth in this statement. In case of any question, a member should consult the Program’s legal counsel as well as its own legal counsel before taking any action. Each member bears its own responsibility for antitrust compliance.

Guidelines for Program Meetings

Procedures

  • An agenda for all meetings will be prepared in advance, offered for adoption by the group (with any changes) at the outset of a meeting, and carefully adhered to.
  • Minutes of all meetings will be prepared, cleared with the Program’s Denver office and circulated to all members. They will be offered for approval at the next meeting.
  • Legal Counsel for the program and/or members will review agenda and minutes in advance and attend meetings involving antitrust-sensitive subjects.

 

Generally Allowable Activities

The parties anticipate that they will discuss the following generally permissible subjects:

  • Education concerning the benefits to the public and the agricultural industry of innovation in seed technology and the need for protection of such innovation from piracy or other forms of theft.
  • Exchange of information concerning best practices for educating the public and the agricultural community about the benefits of seed technology innovation and of protecting investments in such innovation by preventing piracy or other forms of theft.
  • Development of best practices related to the education and protection of seed innovations for the benefit of the agriculture community.

 

Forbidden Activities

The members will refrain from the following activities:

  • Discussion of pricing, promotional policies, individual IP licensing policies, or other terms of sale.
  • Discussion or agreements regarding geographic marketing areas or customer allocation.
  • Discussion of any joint action against an alleged infringer, including how or whether participants will do business with such alleged infringer.
  • Discussion of the participants’ individual commercial relationships with any third parties.
  • Discussion of or engagement in any collective action against any competitor, supplier or customer, including boycotts or refusals to deal with any specific grower, seed company, or other input provider.
  • Discussion of joint enforcement of intellectual property.
  • Any of the foregoing activities outside of official proceedings of the Program.
  • Any other activity, which could create the appearance of joint activity in violation federal or state antitrust laws.

Membership

Active membership in this Program is open to any firm which is a member of the American Seed Trade Association and which is substantially engaged, in the U.S., Canada or Mexico, in the growing or selling of seed if it has an established place of business in such country.

Continuation of membership is conditioned on continuing eligibility and payment of dues. Membership requests may be denied only on the basis of objectively verifiable pre-determined criteria.

Inquire about SIPA membership

Any questions regarding this policy, as well as any concerns regarding activities or discussions at Program meetings, should be promptly brought to the attention of the Program Chairperson or Executive Director.

Become a SIPA Member

The Seed Innovation and Protection Alliance is established to promote the understanding and value of seed innovations as well as to facilitate and promote the respect of intellectual property rights for the benefit of members, growers, industry associates, consumers and the agricultural community.

Inquire About SIPA Membership