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Posts Tagged: "genetically modified seeds"

Monsanto patent acquisition slows, focus remains on disease-resistant crops

Monsanto’s 2005 acquisition of vegetable and fruit seed producer Seminis, Inc., continues to pay dividends for the corporation as readers can see in a couple of patents which have recently issued from the USPTO. U.S. Patent No. 9125354, which is titled Squash Hybrid LEBEHH9044 and Parents Thereof, claims a squash plant and seed having a first set of chromosomes of squash line ZGN-EH-09-7554. The squash plant protected here exhibits desirable traits for commercial squash production and is well suited for the development of new lines based the elite nature of the plant’s genetic background. Another invention which was initially filed by elite lettuceSeminis can be seen within U.S. Patent No. 9072271, titled Agronomically Elite Lettuce with Quantitative Bremia lactuca Resistance. This patent protects a lettuce seed containing an allele conferring resistance to Bremia lactucae and lacking a second allele conferring resistance to Lactuca saligna and conferring traits in adventitious shoots, bubbled leaves and reduced plant diameter. This innovation is intended to produce lettuce with a natural resistance to downy mildew without conferring some undesirable agronomic traits which are genetically linked to the resistance traits.

Sowing the seeds of wrath: Doctrine of Patent Exhaustion Could Not Save Farmer from Liability for Infringing Monsanto’s Patents on Genetically Modified Seeds

Some had hoped that the Court would use Bowman as an opportunity to address the extent of a patent owner’s monopoly over other self-replicating technologies in the areas of biotechnology and information technology, such as human cell lines or computer programs. Certainly, the Court hinted at the possibility of situations where the patented article’s self-replication is truly outside the purchaser’s control, or where the self-replication is an essential step in using the patented article for another authorized purpose. The Court, however, cautiously declined to extend its holding in Bowman to those situations. The decision in Monsanto is intended to be fact-specific and carry slight ramification. Indeed, the Court’s unanimous decision ended with a significant caveat that the holding is limited, “addressing the situation before [the Court], rather than every one involving a self-replicating product.”