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Senior Contributor

Justices all favor Monsanto in patent ruling

Just an article for the soybean farmers, in Iowa everyone is mostly 70-75% corn and 25-30% soybeans most years now. It seems that the corn on corn yields are doing pretty good now which helps, although corn on corn does cost a small amount more than the typical corn on beans rotation, plus beans add a little nitrogen back in to the dirt. Article is below and remember you don't want the SOYBEAN POLICE FORCE to come and arrest you and take you to the new State Jail set-up for soybean farmers that don't follow the soybean laws!!!!!! I heard part of the punishment in this new Soybean Jail is that you have to take a hoe and do the weeding on a 1,000 acres of beans by hand in 100+ degree heat. Article is below:



Justices all favor Monsanto in patent ruling



WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto Co.’s patents on soybean seeds resistant to its weed-killer by growing the beans without buying new seeds from the corporation.

The justices unanimously rejected the farmer’s argument that cheap soybeans he bought from a grain elevator are not covered by the Monsanto patents, even though most of them also were genetically modified to resist the company’s Roundup herbicide.

While Monsanto won this case, the court refused to make a sweeping decision that would cover other self-replicating technologies like DNA molecules and nanotechnologies. Businesses and researchers had been closely watching this case in hopes of getting guidance on patents, but Justice Elena Kagan said the court’s holding Monday only “addresses the situation before us.”

The ruling was watched closely by Johnston-based DuPont Pioneer, which filed a brief in support of its chief rival’s arguments. DuPont did not comment, but the companies’ trade group, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, called the ruling a victory for innovation, consumers and the economy.

Neil Hamilton, director of Drake University’s Agricultural Law Center, called the decision important but “entirely predictable.”

“It really doesn’t change anything in terms of people’s understanding about the rights of farmers to not replant patented seeds and similarly the rights of companies like Monsanto and DuPont and others to be able to continue to protect their rights and the things that they’ve created,” he said.

Hamilton said the ruling has to come as a relief for DuPont Pioneer. “It reaffirms what had been their understanding and their business practices, but I don’t think it requires them to do anything different now.”

In the case decided by the court, farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman bought expensive, patented Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” seeds for his main crop of soybeans, but decided to look for something cheaper for a risky, late-season soybean planting. He went to a grain elevator that held soybeans it typically sells for feed but not as seed.

Bowman reasoned that most of those soybeans also would be resistant to weed killers. He was right, and he bought soybeans from the grain elevator and planted them over eight years. In 2007, Monsanto sued and won an $84,456 judgment.

Monsanto has a policy to protect its investment in seed development that prohibits farmers from saving or reusing the seeds once the crop is grown. Farmers must buy new seeds every year. More than 90 percent of American soybean farms use Monsanto’s seeds.

Bowman’s lawyers argued that Monsanto’s patent rights stopped with the sale of the first crop of beans.

Kagan disagreed. “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,” she said.

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4 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Justices all favor Monsanto___ the greatest invention ever.

Its finally over-  Of course any of us in agriculture would have liked to see differently but the PATENT  is the greatest invention ever. Forget fire, the wheel, beer, patent’s are capital formation, they give potential value to make it worth applying financial and scientific capital to take chances.


In law precedent is everything, the court’s need consistency, any other decision here would be bombshells to the industrial world, which means all of us.


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Re: Justices all favor Monsanto in patent ruling

rsw - Monsanto is entitled to the tech fee, for bringing RR seed to market.  But patents have a limited life, and RR1 patents run out next year 2014, and Monsanto published last year that all licenses and restrictions on that seed will expire on that date.


From what I have read, it appears to me the licensing agreements with Monsanto not only precluded farmers from capitalizing on their technology (which I think is fair) but also precluded seed companies i.e. Pioneer, from introducing new traits into any seeds containing the RR1 traits, I think that litigation ended in Monsanto's favor in a recent Federal  Court Judgment against Pioneer for $1,000,000,000.   


The propaganda has already begun regarding the RR1 seeds for next year by seed dealers, my hired fella plants Pioneer seed, and his dealer tried to tell him the patent on RR1 seed which expires in 2014 has been extended.  If that were in fact true, then there would never have been a need for RR2 would there.


Just sayin . . . adios amigo. John



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old man
Senior Contributor

Re: Justices all favor Monsanto___ the greatest invention ever.

To me, I think the Supreme Court's decision was correct. it is not wether Monsanto's making you sign a contract to purchase their seed, it's about you honoring your word after you signed the contract. It is something called HONESTY

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Senior Advisor

Re: You are correct.

However, there is one little problem with that in that Monsanto has done nothing to prevent gene transfer from their protected genetics to the wrong fields and non participating farmers may have their seed corrupted by roundup varieties. Thus monsanto inspects your fields and finds their traits in private brands.



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