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Jacob and the Carnation Growers' Association                


Jacob, a flower grower, had spent seven years developing a unique carnation flower with a particularly beautiful colour, which he wanted to call 'Red-Herring Blush'. However, when he applied, the Carnation Growers' Association refused to register the flower under that name. They said the name was too close to a recently registered and very similar flower called  'Redhead Blush' and asked for further details about how the plant had been bred.

Jacob was insulted by the implication his work was not original - he had nothing to do with Redhead Blush and his flower was a much more delicate colour. He wrote some angry letters and eventually had an aggressive outburst during a meeting, which caused his relationship with the Association's Registration Board to deteriorate further. This was very upsetting as he had been a longstanding member and office-bearer of the association. Jacob called CJC and a mediation was arranged between him and two representatives of the Association.

During the mediation, each of the participants had a chance to express how they felt. The Association expressed regret Jacob had felt accused of cheating - they had only wanted to clarify the flower's provenance and ensure an appropriate name was chosen.  They had never thought Jacob might not have bred the hybrid himself. After discussion, Jacob accepted his chosen name was too close to an existing bloom. Different options for naming were then explored. 

Ultimately, it was agreed the flower would be registered under the name 'Ocean Trout Blush', which pleased both Jacob and the Association. They also agreed to try to discuss any issues more clearly if they arose in the future and also to return to mediation if problems arose again.