Lawyers Weigh In On Supreme Court’s Monsanto Ruling

May 13, 2013 – In The News

Gerard P. Norton was quoted in the Law360 article "Lawyers Weigh In On Supreme Court’s Monsanto Ruling." While the full text can be found in the May 13, 2013, issue of Law360, a synopsis is noted below.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto Co.'s patents on herbicide-resistant soybean plants by replanting seeds, striking down his argument that the agribusiness giant had exhausted its control of the genetically modified seed.

Gerard Norton shared with Law360 why the unanimous ruling in Bowman v. Monsanto Co. et al. is important.

"Justice Kagan writing the opinion for the unanimous court held that farmers may not use Monsanto’s patented genetically altered soybeans to create new seeds without permission from the company,” according to Norton. “Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman planted Monsanto’s patented soybeans solely to make and market replicas of them, arguing that such activity was permissible under the doctrine of patent exhaustion. The court ruled that exhaustion applies only to the particular item sold, and not to reproductions. The court was careful to limit its holding to the case at bar, rather than every case involving a self-replicating product."