Page No. 1info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comMonsanto vs. Farmer VernonBowmanJudgment of Court on“Roun...
AuthorsRahul Dev is a Patent Attorney, Technology &Business blogger, and partner ofTech Corp Legal LLP, an International L...
Page No. 3info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comTable of ContentsIntroduction to the Case ………………………………………...
Page No.4info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comIntroduction• A patented soybean seed is produced and sold...
Page No.5info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comMonsantoFarmer purchased the seeds fromgrain elevator, thi...
Page No. 6info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comPatent Exhaustion?There is a key difference between what ...
Page No. 7info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comThe Plant VarietyProtection Act, 1970 This PVP Act gives...
Page No. 8info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comIs it necessary for the farmersto get permission beforePl...
Page No. 9info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comBowman’s First Argument Bowman demanded that the usage o...
Page No. 10info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.com This is the reason patent exhaustionhas its boundaries...
Page No. 11info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comResult When a farmer purchases Roundup Ready seed he in...
Page No. 12info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comBowman’s Second Argument Bowman’s another argument was ...
Page No. 13info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comCourt further declared that Bowman had purchased thebea...
Page No. 14info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comConclusionThe court noted that inventions like these are...
Page No. 15info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comThank youGet in touch: info(at)techcorplegal(dot)com
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Monsanto vs. Farmer Vernon Bowman| Judgment of Court on “RoundUp” herbicide

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Monsanto vs. Farmer Vernon Bowman| RoundUp herbicide| Patent Exhaustion| Roundup Monsanto Patents
Prity Khastgir is a Patent Attorney, specializing in Biotech, Food Technology & Pharmaceuticals, and partner of Tech Corp Legal LLP, an International Law Firm.
To connect with her on LinkedIn: in.linkedin.com/in/patentindiaiplawpritykhastgir/

Case Study
A patented soybean seed is produced and sold by Monsanto that is genetically altered to resist its “RoundUp” herbicide.
Farmer Vernon Bowman purchased soybean for planting from a grain elevator.
Bowman argued that Monsanto's sale of its seed that he had purchased from the grain elevator exhausted any patent rights in the seed.
The District Court and the Federal Circuit both had rejected the argument but later Supreme Court agreed to review the case.

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Monsanto vs. Farmer Vernon Bowman| Judgment of Court on “RoundUp” herbicide

  1. 1. Page No. 1info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comMonsanto vs. Farmer VernonBowmanJudgment of Court on“RoundUp” herbicide
  2. 2. AuthorsRahul Dev is a Patent Attorney, Technology &Business blogger, and partner ofTech Corp Legal LLP, an International Law Firm.Read more..Prity Khastgir is a Patent Attorney, specializingin Biotech, Food Technology & Pharmaceuticals,and partner of Tech Corp Legal LLP, anInternational Law Firm. Read more..Page No. 2info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.com
  3. 3. Page No. 3info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comTable of ContentsIntroduction to the Case ………………………………………………………… 4Patent Exhaustion ……………………………………………………………….. 6The Plant Variety Protection Act, 1970 ………………………………………… 7Bowman’s First Argument ……………………………………………………….. 9Result ……………………………………………………………………………… 11Bowman’s Second Argument …………………………………………………… 12Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………… 14Contact Us ………………………………………………………………………… 15
  4. 4. Page No.4info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comIntroduction• A patented soybean seed is produced and sold by Monsanto that is geneticallyaltered to resist its “RoundUp” herbicide.• Farmer Vernon Bowman purchased soybean for planting from a grain elevator.• Bowman argued that Monsantos sale of its seed that he had purchased from the grainelevator exhausted any patent rights in the seed.• The District Court and the Federal Circuit both had rejected the argument but laterSupreme Court agreed to review the case.
  5. 5. Page No.5info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comMonsantoFarmer purchased the seeds fromgrain elevator, thinking that he hadexhausted Monsanto’s patent rightsin the seed
  6. 6. Page No. 6info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comPatent Exhaustion?There is a key difference between what people thinkPatent Exhaustion is and what it actually is ? Patent Exhaustion is firstunrestricted sale by a patentowner of a patented productexhausts the patent owner’scontrol over that particularitem. Patent exhaustion doesnot permit farmers togrow a new crop ofpatented crops from thoseseeds without the owner’spermission.
  7. 7. Page No. 7info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comThe Plant VarietyProtection Act, 1970 This PVP Act gives plant breeders up to 25 years of exclusive right over new,distinct, uniform, and stable sexually reproduced or tuber propagated plant and seedvarieties. The farmers generally get confused between PVPA and plant patents which onlyinclude asexually reproduced plants and not including tuber propagated plants.
  8. 8. Page No. 8info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comIs it necessary for the farmersto get permission beforePlanting the seeds ?
  9. 9. Page No. 9info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comBowman’s First Argument Bowman demanded that the usage of seeds is covered by the patentexhaustion doctrine because that is the normal way farmers use seedand Monsanto needn’t seek an impermissible exception to theexhaustion doctrine for patented seeds and other self-replicatingtechnologies. The argument was rejected by the Court explaining that Bowmanshould seek an exceptional exemption to an already settled rule that theexhaustion doctrine does not allow the right to make a new product.
  10. 10. Page No. 10info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.com This is the reason patent exhaustionhas its boundaries of deciding the failureto exclude those activities where thepatentee can retain an undiminished rightto prohibit others from making anythingthat is derived from his patent projects.
  11. 11. Page No. 11info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comResult When a farmer purchases Roundup Ready seed he intends to grow acrop and he knows he will be able to plant it. However, Monsanto sets the state of affairs where farmer’s ability toreproduce Roundup Ready seed is diminished and cannot realisticallyprevent all plantings. So Monsanto sells the RoundUp Ready seed to farmers with a license touse it to make a crop only and no further seeds will be generated.
  12. 12. Page No. 12info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comBowman’s Second Argument Bowman’s another argument was also rejected by the Court as hesaid the reproduction of seeds had occurred naturally and bowmanhimself had not made imitation of Monsanto’s planted invention. On this the court commented that Bowman was not a fine observerof his crops and that his seeds had not spontaneously createdsuccessive soybean crops.
  13. 13. Page No. 13info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comCourt further declared that Bowman had purchased thebeans and applied herbicide, then saved them for comingseason, then planted the beans, tended and treated themproperly, and harvested numerous seeds for marketing or savingfor the next cycle. This was not the point to be blamed on the seeds but onlyBowman who controlled the reproduction of Monsanto’s patentedinvention
  14. 14. Page No. 14info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comConclusionThe court noted that inventions like these are becomingmore prevalent, complex, and diverse, and that the article’sself-replication in some other case can occur outside thepurchaser’s control or might be a necessary but incidentalstep in using the item for another purpose.
  15. 15. Page No. 15info@techcorplegal.comhttp://research.techcorplegal.comThank youGet in touch: info(at)techcorplegal(dot)com

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