Mr. Bowman developed an unconventional practice that was the
focus of the case. Unwilling to pay the premium price of
Monsanto's patented "Roundup Ready" seeds for
his "risky" late-season crop, Mr. Bowman
purchased commodity soybeans intended for human and animal
consumption from a local grain elevator. Anticipating that some had
originated from local farmers using Roundup Ready soybeans, Mr.
Bowman planted these soybeans in his field. Applying a
glyphosate-based herbicide to eliminate all soybeans without the
Roundup Ready trait, Mr. Bowman re-planted the surviving progeny to
produce his late-season harvest in each of the next eight
consecutive seasons. With no Technology Use Agreement in place to
restrict Mr. Bowman's use of the soybeans purchased from the
grain elevator, the case rested entirely upon whether
Monsanto's patent rights were infringed by Mr. Bowman's
subsequent use of the grain elevator-sourced soybean seeds.
SCOTUS was unconvinced by Mr. Bowman's primary argument that
the common law doctrine of patent exhaustion exonerated him from
liability. While the doctrine limits a patent holder's right to
control another's use of a specific patented item after its
authorized sale, it does not remove the patent holder's right
to restrict an individual from making new copies of the item.
SCOTUS stressed that finding Mr. Bowman's planting and
harvesting of the grain elevator-sourced soybeans as falling under
the protection of the patent exhaustion doctrine would undermine
the rationale behind Monsanto's patent rights. Permitting such
reproduction of the Roundup Ready soybeans would render
Monsanto's patent rights of "scant benefit",
since "other seed companies could reproduce the product
and market it to growers, thus depriving Monsanto of its
monopoly", and "[t]he grower could multiply his
initial purchase . . . without compensating its inventor."
Such an outcome "would result in less incentive for
innovation than Congress wanted." Accordingly, the
doctrine of patent exhaustion was ruled inapplicable, with Mr.
Bowman held liable for patent infringement.
Bowman v. Monsanto Co. et al. is broadly consistent
with Canadian jurisprudence on the subject of patented seeds. The
Supreme Court of Canada case, Monsanto Canada Inc. v.
Schmeiser, while not dealing specifically with the doctrine of
patent exhaustion, similarly ruled that a farmer who deliberately
saved and re-planted Roundup Ready canola seeds had violated
Monsanto's patent rights. The result is a continuation of
relative parity between the legal treatment of Canadian and U.S.
farmers with regards to the use of patented genetically modified
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Emotional culture is influenced in great part by the mindset and actions of leadership, although employees also play more of a role than they may realize in creating the culture that exists in the group.
The session will be led by Dr. Robert Brooks, an award-winning author and psychologist. In his presentation, Dr. Brooks will describe the mindset and realistic practices of leaders and staff that help to nurture and sustain a culture characterized by positive emotions, satisfying, respectful relationships, a sense of meaning and ownership for one’s work, and enhanced job performance. Examples will be offered to illustrate strategies for developing a positive emotional culture in an organization.
Join leading lawyers from the Blakes Pensions, Benefits & Executive Compensation group as they discuss recent updates and legal developments in pension and employee benefits law as well as strategies to identify and minimize common risks.
Ready? The company wants its in-house lawyers to be on the front lines, but there is little to no training around how to “look for risk,” let alone how to evaluate it or report it. Our special guest, Sterling Miller, will present simple ideas and processes you can use to spot and identify risk, and demonstrate how to evaluate and manage that risk alongside the business.
Effective September 1, 2016, the Disposition of Surplus Real Property Regulation to the Ontario Education Act was amended with the intention to reduce barriers to the formation of health and community hubs in Ontario.
This appeal relates to two generic drug submissions for two different products: exemestane and infliximab. Both submissions cross-referenced the submission of another generic company that had received a Notice of Compliance.
Two recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada directly affect Quebec's farm businesses by confirming La Financière Agricole du Québec's discretion in the administration of the farm income stabilization program...
On October 6, 2016, the Ontario Legislature reintroduced the Patients First Act, 2016 as Bill 41. Bill 41 is very similar to its predecessor, Bill 210, which was introduced in June 2016, but makes some important changes to the previous bill.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).