Washington State University (WSU) is offering an opportunity (AOO) to interested parties to submit proposals for an exclusive license for the red raspberry cultivar, WSU 2166, known as the varietal denomination “Cascade Premier”.

The territorial right to Cascade Premier being offered is worldwide rights, excluding geographical rights to North America.


WSU has released a new red raspberry cultivar developed by WSU raspberry breeder Dr. Patrick Moore called ‘Cascade Premier’.  The cultivar (Rubus idaeus L.) is a floricane-fruiting raspberry with the following exceptional qualities:

‘Cascade Premier’ is primarily characterized by suitability for machine harvestability, tolerance to root rot, early season production and large, conical fruit that is longer than it is broad.

The variety is available for exclusive licensing from WSU for worldwide commercialization rights, excluding North America.  This AOO is to identify a licensee whose proposal is determined to be the most responsive to the AOO and who appears to have the best resources and business plan for commercializing the variety in the stated territory.

If your organization is interested in obtaining the exclusive license to commercialize Cascade Premier, a proposal addressing the “Responsiveness to AOO” questions must be received by the email address indicated below no later than July 1, 2020.

Existing Intellectual Property Rights and Exclusive Licensee to territorial rights in the United States and Canada

Currently, WSU is the owner to the US Plant Patent 30,980.  The full description of the patent can be found at here.

The rights to grow, sell, propagate, and distribute Cascade Premier in the geographic regions of United States and Canada are exclusively licensed to a US company in Lynden Washington.  It is contemplated the selected Respondent will obtain clean plant material from this US company having said Plant Patent rights.

You may respond by e-mail of your proposal to the following address below:

Washington State University

Attn:  Albert Tsui
403 Hulbert Hall
P.O. Box 646240
Pullman, WA 99164-6240

Tel:  509-335-3691

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding this AOO, please contact Albert Tsui at 509-335-3691 or

Breeder Description of ‘Cascade Premier’

See below for a brief breeder description of Cascade Premier or the hyperlink to  US Plant Patent 30,980 for a more complete detailed description. 

Respond to AOO

At this time, we are primarily looking for proposals for a worldwide exclusive license, excluding geographical rights to North America.

Each proposal must cover all of the following areas and must be written in English.  All monetary quantities expressed in your proposal must be in U.S. dollars:

  1. Please provide a brief description (approx. one page) of your organization including:
    • Size of company and years in business
    • Geographic territories or countries in which your company conducts business
    • Annual raspberry production of affiliated growers for the last five years
    • Projected raspberry sales and/or production over the next five years
    • Current fruit crop licenses in force, if any, with the names of licensors who can act as references
    • Insurance liability coverage
    • Existing agreements or employment relationships between your company, company owners, and any employees of Washington State University
  1. Provide a brief business plan (approx. one page) for Cascade Premier including:
    • Expected plant sales (dollar value, number of plants to be sold) in EU (or other country or geographical area) over the next five years
    • Production and testing of Cascade Premier timeline for each territory
    • Intellectual property protection/enforcement plan
    • Plans to prevent Cascade Premier from entering the North American frozen and  fresh market
  1. Propose financial terms of license agreement. This may include items such as:
    •  Licensing fee from Respondent to WSU for Exclusive territorial right
    • Up-front fee with growers and commercialization phase milestone payments
    • Royalty structure (plant-based, percent of sales, other, along with proposed royalty rates)
    • Minimum annual royalties
    • Intended territories in which Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) will be pursued and projected IP expenses.  Note: Any PBR will be owned by WSU.
  1. Please provide a brief propagation plan (one page) for the cultivar:
    • Your experience in managing and raspberry propagation.
    • Where plant propagation will take place; if propagation is to be contracted out, please explain.
    • If sublicensees will be used to propagate and/or sell plants, please discuss this arrangement.
    • Describe how you would keep variety true to type.
    • Describe how you would conduct virus testing for common diseases and report such findings to WSU on an annual basis.

AOO Evaluation and Subsequent Negotiation of License

WSU will evaluate responses based on the above-identified factors as a whole, but will especially evaluate the commercialization plans to grow Cascade Premier in the EU, that the Respondent has a clear proposal and plan to pursue protection of PBRs, and the Respondent’s business plan ensures that Cascade Premier does not enter the North American market.

WSU may request, from any responding party, additional information and/or clarification in regard to submitted proposal.  WSU reserves the right to enter into negotiations subsequent to this AOO which may result in changes to any of the terms initially proposed in the AOO, including without limitation, the territory, exclusivity, royalty rates, etc.  A license will not necessarily be awarded to the party or parties proposing the most favorable financial terms in response to this AOO.

By submitting a response, Respondent understands that WSU is under no obligation to award a contract or license agreement as a result of this solicitation.  Respondents are cautioned to make no assumption of an award or acceptance until they receive written notification to that effect by WSU.  WSU will choose one or more offerors considered to be provisionally accepted.  It is expected that one of the provisionally accepted Respondent will be finalized contingent upon the completion of a successful negotiation between WSU and Respondent.  If negotiation is unsuccessful, WSU may choose another Respondent with which to negotiate.  All expenses that offerors incur in responding to this AOO will be borne by Respondent.  WSU will not reimburse Respondent for any such costs.

This AOO process does not guarantee the award of any license by WSU.  Any responses, materials, correspondence, or documents provided to WSU may be subject to the U.S. Freedom of Information Act or the Washington Public Disclosure Act and may be released to third parties in compliance with those regulations.  If WSU receives a request for information under such regulations, you will be notified to that effect so that you can, if desired, obtain a court order enjoining such disclosure.

General Description of Cascade Premier

The cross for the red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) WSU 2166 was made by Patrick P Moore in 2007 at WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center. The cross of WSU 1447 x WSU 0697 resulted in 143 seedlings.  Neither parents are patented.

WSU 2166 was established in Whatcom county and the planting was machine harvested in 2016 and 2017 where WSU 2166 continued to harvest easily, with large fruit and good productivity.  Plots were machine harvested every two to three days and the fruit weight of each plot on each harvest date were recorded.  In the 2016 harvest, 3 cultivars (Cascade Harvest, Meeker and Willamette) and 40 WSU selections were harvested.  WSU 2166 had the 9th highest yield out of the 43 clones harvested.  Its yield was greater than Meeker and Willamette, but less than Cascade Harvest. In 2017, harvest data was only recorded for 14 WSU selections and for the three cultivars. WSU 2166 had the 11th highest yield out of the 17 plots harvested and had higher yield than Willamette, but less than Cascade Harvest and Meeker.  For the two year total yield, WSU 2166 had the 7th highest yield out of 17 plots and had higher yield than Meeker and Willamette and less than Cascade Harvest.

WSU 2166 was planted in plots at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center Goss Farm in 2014 and harvested by hand and data collected for yield, average fruit weight, fruit firmness and total of fruit weight in 2016 and 2017.  Using the yield at each harvest date, the midpoint of harvest could be calculated.  The midpoint of harvest for WSU 2166 was very similar to Willamette.  Willamette is an early ripening cultivar that was released by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Corvallis, OR in 1943.  Although yield of WSU 2166 was low in the 2016 harvest season, the fruit quality was good.  In 2017, the yield increased.

In British Columbia, four replicated plots of WSU 2166 consisting of five plants each were included in breeding trial plots at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s substation in Abbotsford, planted in 2014 and again in 2016.  The 2014 planting was harvested every 3-4 d with a machine harvester in 2016 and 2017.  In this planting, WSU 2166 had higher yield and larger fruit than ‘Saanich’, ‘Rudi’, ‘Lewis’, and ‘Meeker’.  In 2016, WSU 2166 had an earlier midpoint of harvest than ‘Lewis’, while in 2017, WSU 2166 was earlier than ‘Meeker’, ‘Saanich’, and ‘Lewis’.  The 2016 planting was harvested every 3-4 d with a machine harvester in 2018.  In this planting, WSU 2166 had comparable yield to ‘Chemainus’, and higher yields than ‘Meeker’. There were no significant differences in fruit weight.

In 2013, fruit samples were collected of machine harvested fruit of WSU 2166 from a 2011 planting at WSU Puyallup.  Soluble solids content, pH and titratable acidity for WSU 2166 were similar to that of Willamette.   Anthocyanin content for WSU 2166 was similar to that of Meeker. Meeker is a late season raspberry cultivar released from Washington State University in 1967.  Meeker has been the most planted raspberry in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia with over 50% of the plant sales in 2017.  The fruit characteristics of WSU 2166 should be suitable for the Pacific Northwest processing industry and could also be used for fresh market.  The flavor of WSU 2166 fruit is tart, but well balanced. The fruit of WSU 2166 is firmer than Cascade Harvest, Meeker, and Willamette.

In 2014, plants of WSU 2166 were planted in an area of the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center Goss Farm that was known to be infested with Phytophthora rubi the causal agent for raspberry root rot.  In 2016, the subjective rating of vigor for WSU 2166 was 4.5 out of a possible 5 (15th out of 32 clones), in the 2016 rating there was little difference among the top 20 raspberry clones.  2017 was a much wetter year and there was much more disease pressure.  In 2017, WSU 2166 had a rating of 3.5 out of a possible 5 (6th out of 32 clones), but was rated in the top 20% of the clones.  Although WSU 2166 is susceptible to root rot, it shows relatively good tolerance.

Image of Raspberry bushImage of Raspberry leafImage of Raspberry fruitImage of Raspberry fruit harvestImage of Raspberry stick comparision


Detailed Botanical Description

‘WSU 2166’ has not been observed under all possible environmental conditions and as such the characteristics may vary in detail depending on weather conditions, day length, soil type and location.  The description is based on observations taken in Year 11 (except as noted) at the Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center Goss Farm and with cooperating growers in Lynden, WA.

A comparison of fruit of ‘WSU 2166’ with cultivars commonly grown in Washington is given in Table 1.  ‘WSU 2166’ had similar machine harvest yield as ‘Meeker’ and ‘Willamette’ and slightly less yield for ‘Cascade Harvest’.  ‘WSU 2166’ had earlier midpoints of harvest than ‘Cascade Harvest’ and ‘Meeker’.  In the Puyallup planting, ‘WSU 2166’ had lower yield in Year 10 than the other cultivars, but had yield comparable to the other cultivars in Year 11.  ‘WSU 2166’ had the largest fruit weight, firmest fruit, lowest fruit rot, and was earlier than ‘Cascade Harvest’ and ‘Meeker’.

Table of Contents

If you have any questions or need additional information regarding this AOO, please contact Albert Tsui

Download PDF Version

WSU 2166Cascade HarvestMeekerWillamette
Machine harvest, Lynden, WA*
Midpoint of harvest
Year 1006-23 07-0107-0306-22
Year 1107-1107-1707-197-12
Hand harvest, Puyallup, WA**
Yield (t/a)
Year 103.7116.87.8
Total Yield8.71813.314.1
Fruit Weight (g)
Year 103.843.543.193.37
Year 11
Fruit firmness (g)
Year 10101749074
Year 11137106107122
Fruit rot (%)
Year 104.411.49.87.2
Year 115.414.510.66.6
Midpoint of harvest
Year 1006-1906-2306-2306-19
Year 1107-0807-1207-0907-06
*Harvest of non-replicated 8 plant plots.
**Harvest of 3 replications of 3 plants.