Organic Farmers' Preemptive Lawsuit Against Monsanto Patents Tossed Out For Being A Bit Too Preemptive

from the can't-declare-just-yet dept

Monsanto has quite a track record of going after farmers for making use of its "patented" seeds, even in a case that involve seeds that blew onto a farm from a neighboring farm. So, it wasn't entirely surprising to see a group of organic farmers preemptively sue Monsanto last year, asking for a declaratory judgment that they did not infringe. However, the judge in the case has now dismissed the case, noting that for a declaratory judgment, there has to be a real conflict, and Monsanto keeps insisting that it won't sue these farmers. From a legal standpoint, this argument makes sense (and the declaratory judgment standard can be pretty high in some cases -- especially if no direct threat has been issued). But, it still seems unfortunate. Given Monsanto's past actions in other cases, even if it says it won't sue now, plenty of farmers are reasonably scared about what will happen down the road. But, for now, they just have to wait and hope that Monsanto seeds don't show up on their farms...

Filed Under: declaratory judgment, organic farmers, patents, seeds
Companies: monsanto


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  1. icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), 28 Feb 2012 @ 6:22pm

    Re:

    One problem is these Monsanto "miracles" are already losing effectiveness. We've got pests and weeds that have mutated to dodge what Monsanto produces. So Monsanto not only wants to control crops around the world, it must keep trying to produce new products to stay in the game.

    People want the option not to have these plants. And poor farmers particularly don't want to be dependent on a large corporation providing them with expensive products. So they are fighting a system where unwanted crops contaminate their own crops and then they are sued for having them.

    Also, another big issue has been labeling. You want to grow GMOs? Fine, but don't balk if countries ask you to label the foods that have them. In fact, if GMOs are so great, presumably you'd be proud to sell labeled GMO foodstuffs.

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