Patents/Intellectual Property Rights
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Monsanto lawsuit moves to pre-trial oral arguments

Patents/Intellectual Property Rights

By Avery Yale Kamila
Staff Writer

A judge has ordered pre-trial oral arguments in a case pitting organic farmers against agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Headed by Maine potato farmer Jim Gerritsen, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, with legal backing from the Public Patent Foundation, filed a lawsuit in March 2011 questioning the validity of Monsanto's patents on genetically modified seeds and seeking protection from patent-infringement lawsuits for the plaintiffs should their crops become contaminated with Monsanto's transgenic crops.

Montana (USA) plans regulations for investigations on ”patented crop theft”

Patents/Intellectual Property Rights


A six-year battle over how farmers are investigated for illegally growing patented crops might be ending.

Farm groups and scientists before the Montana State Senate on Tuesday said they’d reached an agreement for investigating patented crop theft, which has become a significant issue as more state acres are seeded with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

European Patent Office issues broccoli decision: Europe rejects patents on breeding of plants and animals

Patents/Intellectual Property Rights

In a long awaited decision, the European Patent Office (EPO) issued its decision on the so- called 'Broccoli Patent' today. In its opinion, the EPO explained that methods for conventional breeding of plants and animals cannot be considered as a technical process and cannot be covered by patents. The decision is binding for all similar cases.

Reactions to US Government "Bombshell" against Gene Patents

Patents/Intellectual Property Rights

In an unexpected reversal, the Department of Justice has come out against the US patent office's practice of granting patents on human genes in the form of isolated DNA.

The government filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief [PDF] late Friday in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation that challenges patents held by Myriad Genetics on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer. A federal district court issued a strong ruling [PDF] in March agreeing that those patents are invalid, and Myriad promptly appealed.

U.S. Says Genes Should Not Be Eligible for Patents

Patents/Intellectual Property Rights

Reversing a longstanding policy, the federal government said on Friday that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they are part of nature. The new position could have a huge impact on medicine and on the biotechnology industry.

The new position was declared in a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Department of Justice late Friday in a case involving two human genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer.

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