GM Crop Case Nears Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court has asked the Obama administration to weigh in on a petition concerning Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds.

By | April 6, 2012


In 2011, the Federal Circuit Court again upheld the ruling that Monsanto's patents for its genetically modified seeds can be used to stop farmers from saving and replanting the GM seeds. Monsanto had sued Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman for purchasing and replanting commodity soybeans from his local grain supplier, which were mostly Roundup Ready seeds, seeds genetically modified to resist Monsanto’s Roundup pesticides.

Bowman has now petitioned the Supreme Court with the argument that his use of the seeds is covered by patent law’s “exhaustion doctrine”—which holds that a patent holder’s rights in a particular product are “exhausted” when the product is sold to an end user, Wired Science reported. Bowman wasn’t required to sign a licensing agreement before buying commodity seeds, so he argues that he was free to plant them.

This week, upon the vote of at least four Justices, the Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to weigh in on the petition, requesting that the Solicitor General, the official in charge of representing the Obama administration, file briefs expressing the views of the United States, Patently-O reported. While the case remains to be heard—and the Court can still opt not to do so—a study of 30,000 petitions found that those for which the Court requests a response from the Solicitor General are four times more likely to be granted.


Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Rethinking the Rise of Mammals
    Daily News Rethinking the Rise of Mammals

    Mammals diversified 30 million years later than previously estimated, according to a new analysis of an ancient fossil.

  2. Wiping Out Gut Bugs Stops Obesity
  3. Birth of the Skin Microbiome
    Daily News Birth of the Skin Microbiome

    The immune system tolerates the colonization of commensal bacteria on the skin with the aid of regulatory T cells during the first few weeks of life, a mouse study shows.

  4. Battling the Bulge
    Bio Business Battling the Bulge

    Weight-loss drugs that target newly characterized obesity-related receptors and pathways could finally offer truly effective fat control.

Life Technologies