2002 Regular Session
By: Representative Hudson
AN ACT TO REQUIRE PERSONS TRANSFERRING OWNERSHIP OF BERMUDA GRASS TO BECOME CERTIFIED BY THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE; TO PROVIDE THAT NAMES OF GRASSES SHALL NOT INFRINGE ON A NAME ALREADY ON THE MARKET; TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Every person, firm, association or corporation that shall transfer ownership of Bermuda grass, or that shall issue, use or circulate any certificate, advertisement, tag, seal, poster, letterhead, marking circular, written or printed representation or description of or pertaining to Bermuda grass intended for sprigging or sale shall conform to the certification standards or requirements as made by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. Such persons, firms, associations and corporations, before transferring ownership of Bermuda grass, on or before the first day of July of each year, shall secure an annual certificate from the Commissioner of Agriculture to engage in such business or practice. The certificate fee shall not exceed Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for each such person or place of business every year.
(2) If a person, firm, association or corporation discovers a new type or variety of grass, such entity shall not name the grass in such a manner as to infringe on a name already on the market.
(3) The Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this act.
(4) Upon compliance by the applicant with the requirements of the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, the commissioner shall issue a certificate of grass registration to the applicant. Any certificate of grass registration issued by the commissioner under the provisions hereof, or a copy duly certified by the commissioner, shall be admissible in evidence as competent and sufficient proof of the registration of such grass in any actions or judicial proceedings in any court of this state.
(5) Any owner of a certificate of grass registration under this act may proceed by suit to enjoin the manufacture, use, transfer of ownership, display or sale of any counterfeits or imitations thereof, and any court of competent jurisdiction may grant injunctions to restrain such manufacture, use, transfer of ownership, display or sale and may require the defendants to pay to such owner all profits derived from or all damages suffered by reason of such wrongful manufacture, use, transfer of ownership, display or sale.
(6) Any person who knowingly, or as a result either of gross negligence or of a failure to make a reasonable effort to inform himself of the pertinent facts, violates any provision of this act or the rules and regulations made and promulgated thereunder shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is subject to pay a fine of not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for the first violation and not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each violation thereafter.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.