High court to hear farmer, Monsanto seed dispute

October 5, 2012

(AP)—The Supreme Court is agreeing to hear a dispute between a soybean farmer and Monsanto Co. over the company's efforts to limit farmer's use of its patented, genetically engineered Roundup Ready seeds.

The justices say they will hear an appeal from Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, who is trying to fend off Monsanto's lawsuit claiming Bowman made unauthorized use of the seeds.

Monsanto's patented soybean seeds have been genetically engineered to resist its Roundup brand . When Roundup is sprayed on a field, the product will kill the without harming the crop.

The Obama administration urged the court not to take the case and warned that the outcome could affect patents involving , nanotechnologies and other self-replicating technologies.

Explore further: Farmers relying on roundup lose some of its benefit


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2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012
The Obama administration urged the court not to take the case and warned that the outcome could affect patents involving DNA molecules, nanotechnologies and other self-replicating technologies.

A patent on living organisms does seem to be overreaching. How does this meet patent requirements?

If the court reduces the ability to patent life and life processes, that seems to me to be a very good thing.
2 / 5 (4) Oct 05, 2012
I cannot understand why any farmer would patronize Monsanto in any way, shape, or form. Monsanto is evil through and through.
5 / 5 (2) Oct 05, 2012
My understanding is that frequently the GM crops contaminate non-GM fields by cross pollination.

Monsanto, then claims that the planter of the contaminated crops owes a royalty for growing crops which contain their patented genes.
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 05, 2012

That is my understanding too. Instead, the farmer who is using seed which has not been genetically modified should be suing Monsanto for contaminating his crop.
3 / 5 (2) Oct 06, 2012
Issue: Whether the Federal Circuit erred by (1) refusing to find patent exhaustion – a doctrine which eliminates the right to control or prohibit the use of an invention after an authorized sale – in patented seeds that were sold for planting; and (2) creating an exception to the doctrine of patent exhaustion for self-replicating technologies.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 06, 2012
Appellant purchased commingled commodity seed from a grain elevator and appellee is claiming control over a fraction of the purchase.

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