Posts Tagged ‘Monstanto v Bowman’

Supreme Court Hears “Replicant Soy Bean” Appeal

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Since I did a perfectly concise, coherent even, post when the Supreme Court granted cert. in Monsanto v. Bowman back in October, I don’t really have a lot to add. The bloggers and news services have paid a lot of attention to this appeal as if, somehow, the fate of transgenic plants was in the balance but, from what I’ve read of the oral arguments, Monsanto has the upper hand. Oddly, this appeal called to mind Aro Mfg. Co. v. Convertible Top Replacement, 366 U.S. 336 (1961), which involved “repair” of a fabric convertible top vs. “replacement” of the entire mechanism as well as the fabric. The Supreme Court found in favor of the defendant, but the ruling would provide ample precedent to hold that Bowman in fact infringed when he replicated a second generation of Monsanto’s glyphosate-resistant soy beans without a license:

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Supreme Court to Review Monsanto v. Bowman

Monday, October 8th, 2012

On Friday, Oct 5th, the Supreme Court granted cert. to review the Fed. Cir.’s decision in Monsanto Co. v. Bowman, App. no. 2010-1068 (Fed. Cir. September 21, 2011). (A copy of the decision is at the end of this post.) Bowman, a soybean farmer, had purchased commodity (mixed -source) seed from a local grain elevator to plant as a “second crop” since he did not want to pay the higher cost that a licensed seed grower would charge. All sales to growers of the Monsanto seeds in question – these particular seeds are transgenic in that they carry, and pass on, the trait of resistance to glyphosate – are subject to a “standard form limited use license,” the “Monsanto Technology Agreement,” that licensed the two patents-in-suit to growers under the conditions, inter alia, that they would use the crop for planting only in a single season, not to resell the seed, and not to save seed for replanting. The growers can sell the seed to grain elevators as a commodity – e.g., for use as food or feed.

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