Patents

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
farmers, patents, seeds

Companies:
monsanto



Monsanto Sued By Organic Farmers Who Don't Want To Be Accused Of Patent Infringement

from the patent-madness dept

Monsanto's incredibly overaggressive use of patents to corner the market on certain crops and to bully farmers has been well-documented over the years. Some of the really crazy stories involve Monsanto accusing farmers of patent infringement, because some of its "patented" seeds were used by neighboring farms, and the newly grown seeds were blown onto the neighboring property by wind, where they grew new plants. Now, a group of organic farmers fearful of being hit with similar threats and/or lawsuits have preemptively sued Monsanto asking for a declaratory judgment that they don't infringe, while also seeking to invalidate the patents. The full filing, embedded below, includes a description of why the farmers think that Monsanto's patents are invalid anyway, including the claim that Monsanto's modified seeds were not actually "useful" (it cites multiple studies debunking claims by Monsanto of the advantages of its seeds) and therefore, not patentable (since, in theory, patents are only allowed on "useful" inventions). Should make for an interesting case, though I would guess it won't get very far...

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  1. icon
    Chargone (profile), 30 Mar 2011 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: I'm an actual farmer.

    depends on the distortion, but subsidising agricultural production seems to be destructive by definition. subsidising Setup is one thing. production? not so much. (that said, there's (probably) a difference between subsidies to encourage production and subsidies to keep the prices down. i believe it has to do with how they are regulated and at what point in the chain they're placed. the latter is (potentually) useful. the former is not.)

    and if your local producers and manufacturers cannot compete with imports, the correct responce would be to add tariffs to the imports, not subsidies to the production... also: only to a point. past a point the entire exercise must be deemed impractical and at that point it's better to let the local entity fail, have it's role in the production chain replaced by imports, and it's resources reapplied to something more benificial. (that said, ideally this would be simply a case of making adjustments to what, exactly, is being produced, rather than having entire industries colapse outright.)

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