Intellectual Property Rights Licensing

Monsanto Case Could Affect Patent Laws  February 3, 2013 – 06:02 pm
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Bio-engineering juggernaut, Monsanto, developed their Roundup Ready soybeans in the early nineties, and quickly patented their revolutionary invention. The self-pollinating and pest-resistant crops have garnered much attention throughout the years, from the safety of the genetically modified food to the regulations farmers must adhere to when using the seeds.

The case of 75-year-old farmer Hugh Bowman vs. Monsanto is said to begin February 19th, the farmer was sued by Monsanto because he bought a bag of generic seed which happened to contain some of the Monsanto Round-Up ready seeds. The farmer is arguing that Monsanto has exhausted their patent rights, because the sale to second-generation seeds had been authorized.  The case will ultimately decide if the company can collect royalties after their GMO seeds are purchased.

Monsanto has other patents which do not expire, but there is a lot at stake for Universities which are mainly funded by the agriculture giant and the soybeans. The bio-engineering budget could drop significantly is Monsanto loses the case, which means less academic research and publications. Monsanto has cross-licensed many of their seeds and other technologies to universities throughout the years.  Although many speculate that the company might have to firm of a grip on the research and academic papers which are published.

Source: Venable Campillo Logan and Meaney, PC

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