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Supreme Court Unanimous Against Indiana Farmer


reaction to Bowman-Monsanto ruling

The United States Supreme Court has ruled in the case of Bowman v. Monsanto and the outcome suggests the Indiana farmer didn’t stand much of a chance. The court agreed with Monsanto’s assertion that Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman violated the company’s patents on soybean seeds.

American Soybean Association President Danny Murphy from Mississippi said the 9-0 ruling should send a strong message, “that the court and the United States government, across the Obama administration was supportive on the Monsanto side, that we believe in technology. We believe in patent law and that those companies should have the right to benefit from their intellectual property.”

Indianapolis based attorney Todd Janzen explained the Monday decision.

“Ultimately what the Supreme Court held was that Bowman’s replanting of commodity soybeans, or soybeans from a grain elevator, violated Monsanto’s Roundup Ready patent. The reason was because Bowman did not have a license to make additional copies of the seed, so it’s very different than if you plant just one seed, you harvest one seed, and replant another seed.”

Janzen added, “If the law held the way that Bowman had wanted the court said Monsanto would lose the rights to its patent because all a farmer would have to do is buy Roundup Ready seeds one time and they could plant it forever and ever after that point.”

And ASA’s Murphy told HAT that intrusion on intellectual property would severely limit advancing technologies that farmers rely upon.

“You know it’s really important that our technology providers, our seed providers, have the assurance that the money they invest in new varieties and new traits that are going to help propel us into the future and help us produce the food that’s going to be required in the future, that they have some assurance that they’re going to recoup those investments.”

Hear more comments from both Murphy and Janzen:Murphy-Janzen