Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Monsanto Wins Seed Case as High Court Backs Patent Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court bolstered Monsanto Co. (MON)’s ability to control the use of its genetically modified seeds, ruling that companies can block efforts to circumvent patents on self-replicating technologies.
The justices unanimously upheld an $84,456 award Monsanto won in a lawsuit against Vernon Hugh Bowman, an Indiana farmer. Rather than buying herbicide-resistant soybean seeds from a Monsanto-authorized dealer, Bowman used harvested soybeans containing the technology to plant his crops.
The case centered on a technology that has helped make Monsanto Co. the world’s largest seed company, with $14.7 billion in annual revenue, as well as a prime target for opponents of genetically modified food. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
“Bowman planted Monsanto’s patented soybeans solely to make and market replicas of them, thus depriving the company of the reward patent law provides for the sale of each article,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court. Kagan rejected Bowman’s contention that he wasn’t legally responsible for making those replicas, dismissing what she called his “blame-the-bean defense.”

READ MORE: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-13/monsanto-wins-seed-case-as-u-s-high-court-backs-patent-rights.html

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