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View Diary: Supreme Court and Monsanto Kick 75 Year-Old Farmer Squarely in the Beans (100 comments)

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  •  Monsanto is evil (18+ / 0-)

    But I've read the briefs in this case, my friend practices both enviro and patent law -- we agreed that this is how the ruling would come down.  

    That being said, I only buy seeds from Seed Savers.  They don't have the volume or variety of Monsanto, but surely there are enough farmers pissed off about GMOs (although that wasn't this farmer's problem).

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon May 13, 2013 at 01:28:50 PM PDT

    •  It's a bad law, but this is a straightforward (9+ / 0-)

      application of it.  No real surprise here.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Mon May 13, 2013 at 01:35:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, pico

        I find it difficult to say. It's interesting. But this is like Cyberlaw and all kinds of Common Law applications.

        How are we going to consider the Internet. Torts, Contracts the same? I see as comparable as using notions of past patent ideas becomes a stretch when you are dealing with something like this (a new technology).

        I do not see what prevented Monsanto from Contracting with farmers that they had to identify their seeds to Grain Elevators and only sell if they were subject to restrictions. Or the like.

        I also see it as lost in this fantasy that Contract Law still applies the same way. You cant go to a Store and bargain over terms. But, the idea still remains. Moreso here of equal bargaining power. I think there is a lot to this and an example of the SCOTUS not being scientific experts. Can't say who is right or wrong, I'd have to understand far more than reading the decision or briefs. Straightforward? I don't know everything in an opinion is law. Every new opinion is law.

        Judges Make law, they can make good or bad law, they diverge from Stare Decisis all the time. I don't know what's right or wrong, curious to read more but I don't think in reading Bowman's arguments were too outlandish or not reasonable extensions of the law.

        •  As a general area of law, I agree: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rich in PA, johnny wurster

          but in this case he went beyond using the seeds he bought into production of new seeds:

          Bowman purchased soybeans intended for consumption from a grain elevator; planted them; treated the plants with glyphosate, killing all plants without the Roundup Ready trait; harvested the resulting soybeans that contained that trait; and saved some of these harvested seeds to use in his late-season planting the next season.
          This is why I suggested "bad law" above.  As long as we treat plants as conventional patents, the law is going to bind us to strictly one-generational usage in most cases.  It's possible other cases will challenge this fundamental assumption (and the court acknowledges this), but Bowman's was so straightforward it wasn't necessary.   Here's Kagan (emph mine):
          Under the patent exhaustion doctrine, Bowman could resell the patented soybeans he purchased from the grain elevator; so too he could consume the beans himself or feed them to his animals. Monsanto, although the patent holder, would have no business interfering in those uses of Roundup Ready beans. But the exhaustion doctrine does not enable Bowman to make additional patented soybeans without Monsanto’s permission (either express or implied). And that is precisely what Bowman did.
          So it's a narrow decision about this particular case, with some acknowledgment that a later case might be more fruitful for testing the limits of this law.  But for now:
          In the case at hand, Bowman planted Monsanto’s patented soybeans solely to make and market replicas of them, thus depriving the company of the reward patent law provides for the sale of each article.  Patent exhaustion provides no haven for that conduct.
          No surprise, then: unanimous holding.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Mon May 13, 2013 at 04:02:27 PM PDT

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      •  Then the law needs to be changed. (0+ / 0-)

        If you don't truly own the thing you purchase and if its use by you can be regulated by the seller even after you buy it, your property rights are being infringed.

        Monsanto is using the unique nature of seeds to exploit patent law by applying it to genetics, which was not the original intent of patent law in the first place. And patent law is woefully underequipped to handle the questions that arise from private ownership of genetic material.

        "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon May 13, 2013 at 05:33:13 PM PDT

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    •  Agree completely (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, johnny wurster, gchaucer2

      this was always going to be a narrow ruling and those that painted it as the  little people v Monsanto deal were always going to be disappointed.

      And Monsanto are evil.

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