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Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:51 AM

Farmer’s Supreme Court Challenge Puts Monsanto Patents at Risk [View all]

With his mere 300 acres of soybeans, corn and wheat, Vernon Hugh Bowman said, “I’m not even big enough to be called a farmer.”

Yet the 75-year-old farmer from southwestern Indiana will face off Tuesday against the world’s largest seed company, Monsanto, in a Supreme Court case that could have a huge impact on the future of genetically modified crops, and also affect other fields from medical research to software.

At stake in Mr. Bowman’s case is whether patents on seeds — or other things that can self-replicate — extend beyond the first generation of the products.

It is one of two cases before the Supreme Court related to the patenting of living organisms, a practice that has helped give rise to the biotechnology industry but which critics have long considered immoral. The other case, involving a breast cancer risk test from Myriad Genetics, will determine whether human genes can be patented. It is scheduled to be heard April 15.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/business/supreme-court-to-hear-monsanto-seed-patent-case.html?src=me&ref=general

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Reply Farmer’s Supreme Court Challenge Puts Monsanto Patents at Risk [View all]
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