Supreme Court To Rule On Monsanto’s ‘Self-Replicating Patent’ Seeds

Monsanto demands that anyone who plants a seed containing the its patented herbicide-resisting genes pay steep “technology fees.” The problem is that Monsanto’s plants amount to self-replicating patent machines, as the Monsanto-created genes spread through the ecosystem. NPR  reports:

This farmer, Vernon Hugh Bowman, has been a loyal customer for Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” soybeans. Sometimes he bought ordinary soybeans from the local grain elevator or another farmer.

But here’s the problem: Monsanto’s soybeans account for 94 percent of all the soybeans grown in Indiana. So almost all the soybeans that Bowman could get his hands on contained the patented “Roundup Ready” gene. Monsanto found out and took Bowman to court [where he was ordered] to pay $84,000. An appeals court affirmed that decision.

The arguments and counter-arguments that both sides have submitted to the Supreme Court mostly focus on the reach of Monsanto’s patents — specifically, whether Monsanto really can demand a royalty for the planting of any soybean containing its patented genes. But there’s a practical issue, too, and it clearly troubled the federal judge in Indiana who first heard this case. “Monsanto’s domination of the soybean seed market,” he wrote, means that all the cheap “commodity” soybeans that farmers might use for seed are now encumbered by patents.

6 Comments on "Supreme Court To Rule On Monsanto’s ‘Self-Replicating Patent’ Seeds"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Oct 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm |

    this is an old story with Monsanto
    and not even near the first time they’ve sued someone
    for having their seeds pouted with Monsanto GMOs
    and the sad part is, they usually win
    (gee, I wonder why?)

  2. BuzzCoastin | Oct 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm |

    this is an old story with Monsanto
    and not even near the first time they’ve sued someone
    for having their seeds pouted with Monsanto GMOs
    and the sad part is, they usually win
    (gee, I wonder why?)

  3. Anomaly_of_Anomie | Oct 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm |

    FUCK Monsanto. Fuck them where it hurts.

  4. Anomaly_of_Anomie | Oct 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm |

    FUCK Monsanto. Fuck them where it hurts.

  5. Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Oct 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm |

    Let’s see, a huge corporation vs. John Q Public. I wonder who’s side the SCOTUS will side on… You don’t have to be a bookie to know the odds.

  6. Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness | Oct 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm |

    Let’s see, a huge corporation vs. John Q Public. I wonder who’s side the SCOTUS will side on… You don’t have to be a bookie to know the odds.

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