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Kagan’s Roundup Ready and Breyer’s in a Sling

A couple sketches from the Supreme Court yesterday:Justice Kagan's opinion in Monsanto
Justice Kagan annouced the Court’s unanimous opinion supporting Monsanto’s patent rights on its herbicide resistant genetically altered Roundup Ready seed.

NYT’s Adam Liptak has the story here.

It was also Justice Breyer’s first appearance on the bench since breaking his shoulder in a bicycle mishap two weeks ago.Justice Breyer with arm in a sling

Posted in Opinions, Supreme Court Tagged with: , ,

Supreme Court Back From Winter Break

Chief Justice Roberts stopped by the press room Tuesday morning to welcome back reporters. He said the Court would be announcing quite a few opinions, so be prepared to work through lunch.

Below are sketches of arguments the Court heard in Bowman v. Monsanto.

Monsanto sells its brand of genetically engineered soybean seed to farmers with the stipulation that they will not replant the crop seed. Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman abided by Monsanto’s rules when he planted his first crop, but for a second late-season crop he decided to plant seed purchased from a grain elevator figuring much of it would seed grown from Monsanto’s Rounup resistant strain. He was right, but Monsanto sued.

Bowman’s lawyer, Mark Walters, had a hard time convincing Justices that once Monsanto sold its seed the patent was exhausted. “The Exhaustion Doctrine permits you to use the goods that you buy,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. “It never permits you to make another item from the item that you bought.”

Monsanto’s lawyer Seth P. Waxman said the company “never would have produced what is, by now the most popular agricultural technology in America” if the patent had been so easily exhausted.

WaPo story here.


Posted in Arguments, Supreme Court Tagged with: , ,
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