Monsanto Wins Supreme Court Case As Justices Back Patent Rights

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with Monsanto in a case over the Creve Couer-based company’s ability to control the use of its genetically modified seeds. The high court ruled that companies can block efforts to circumvent patents on self-replicating technologies.

Justices unanimously upheld an $84,456 award Monsanto won in a lawsuit against Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, who used harvested soybean seeds containing Monsanto technology rather than buying the seeds from an authorized dealer.

The case may affect makers of things like live vaccines, genetically modified salmon and bacteria strains used in medical research, potentially helping makers of those products restrict use beyond the first generation. But the court said its ruling was a narrow one that didn’t resolve all issues concerning patents on self-replicating technologies.

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