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SCOTUS to hear Indiana farmer’s case against Monsanto in February

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A patent infringement case involving a Knox County soybean farmer and an international seed producer will be argued Feb. 19 before the Supreme Court of the United States.

At issue in Vernon Hugh Bowman v. Monsanto Company, et al., 11-796, is whether the federal circuit erred by refusing to find the patent had been exhausted on seeds sold for planting and by creating an exception to the doctrine of patent exhaustion for self-replicating technologies.

Monsanto sued Bowman in October 2007 for planting a second crop of soybeans each growing season using seeds that carried the genetically engineered trait – developed by Monsanto – which made the seeds resistant to Roundup Ready herbicide. The company argued its patent rights were not exhausted because the patent protection is applicable to each generation of soybeans that contains the patented trait.

The U.S. District court of the Southern District of Indiana granted Monsanto’s motion for summary judgment in September 2009 in Monsanto Company v. Vernon Hugh Bowman, 2:07-cv-00283.

Judge Richard L. Young wrote, “In the end, despite Bowman’s compelling policy arguments addressing the monopolizing effect of the introduction of patented genetic modifications to seed producing plants on an entire crop species, he has not overcome the patent law precedent which breaks in favor of Monsanto with regard to its right to patent protection against the use of the progeny of its patented Roundup Ready seeds.”

In petitioning the high court to hear his case, Bowman cited Quanta Computer, Inc., v. LG Electronics, Inc., 553 U.S. 617 (2008). Here, Bowman contended, the Supreme Court’s ruling of the patent exhaustion doctrine extended to seeds when they are sold to a grain elevator.  

A number of organizations have filed amicus briefs in support of Bowman. These nonprofits include the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association, and International Imaging Technology Council; the American Antitrust Institute, National Farmers Union, Food & Water Watch, Organization for Competitive Markets, and National Family Farm Coalition; and the Public Patent Foundation.  
 

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  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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