Sustainable Pulse would like to show its official support for Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman, who today lost his high profile lawsuit against Monsanto.
Sustainable Pulse Director, Henry Rowlands, stated: “The fact that the US Supreme Court has today supported Monsanto’s attempt to take over the world’s food system is a complete disgrace.”
The Supreme Court ruled today against Bowman who took on Monsanto in a patent dispute over genetically modified soybean seed.
“The question in this case,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for a unanimous court, “is whether a farmer who buys patented seeds may reproduce them through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission. We hold that he may not.”
Kagan said that today’s holding is “limited” and addresses only Bowman’s situation “rather than every one involving a self replicating product.”
She said she recognized that “in another case” at a time when inventions are becoming more prevalent, “the article’s self-replication might occur outside the purchaser’s control.”
“If they then claim that I can’t use that, they’re forcing their patent on me,” Bowman said in February. “No law was ever passed that said no farmers can’t go to the elevator and buy grain and use it, so to me they either forced their patent on me or they abandoned their patent by allowing it to be dumped it with non-Roundup grain.”
According to a Supreme Court transcript from February, it is the beans that grew from that second batch which are cause for alarm.
“The problem for you here, I think, is that, infringement lies in the fact that he made generation three,” Justice Breyer said in the transcript arguing that the bean he bought could be used for any other purpose legally, except for making a new crop. “Now, there’s another law that says you cannot make copies of a patented invention. And that law you have violated when you use it to make generation three, just as you have violated the law against assault were you to use it to commit an assault.”
“Monsanto is just grabbing straws and it appears to me that the Supreme Court is buying it. No Monsanto literature was ever printed that said that I couldn’t go to the elevator and buy commodity grain and plant it if I wanted to.”