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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
    btr1701 (profile), 3 Mar 2012 @ 2:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Easy For Monsanto

    > Accuse farmer of 'stealing GMO seed' point out that a sample
    > from spot X would be a good test site.

    Even if the test results are positive, how does that prove theft on the part of the farmer? All it proves is that the seed somehow got on the farmer's land and given that seeds are intentionally designed to germinate on their own, the mere presence of patented seed on the land proves nothing regarding theft. To prove theft, you'd have to also prove intent to steal on the part of the farmer.

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