Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monsanto has position paper defending its seed patent enforcement (brought up in recent film "Food")

The new documentary film “Food, Inc.” presented the problem of Monsanto’s litigation against framers for seed patent infringement, both in planting and saving seed.

Monsanto does have a position paper where it states its own position on the problem, here. The webpage has an amusing graphic that looks like “weed”, and it lists its “Ten Points”. Interesting is its position that it’s not OK to save seed even for “personal use.”

The controversy came about originally in the 1980s when the Supreme Court ruled that one can patent genes.

However, there are various other stories about the problem, such as a dropped lawsuit against a North Dakota rancher in 2001, here (in a publication called “Herbicide Tolerance”).

There is a 2008 case about “Roundup Ready” soybean seed in a publication called “Curremt” here. The article suggests that the Supreme Court might some day recognize a concept called “patent exhaustion”.

Picture: Flint Hills, Kansas, 2006 (taken by me).

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