|September 8, 2013
(Photo/Lily Rothrock via Flickr)
A group of U.S. farmers is not giving up its fight against biotech giant Monsanto.
In the latest step of a two and a half year legal battle, plaintiffs in Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thrusday to hear their case challenging the patents on Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed.
The battle began in March 2011 when the farmers and seed companies brought a preemptive lawsuit against Monsanto to protect themselves from what they saw as unfair patent enforcement by Monsanto, whom they see as a “patent bully,” should the corporation’s genetically engineered seed contaminate the farmers’ crops. In other words, if these organic and conventional farmers are not using any Monsanto seed but their crops become contaminated (via wind, for example) with Monsanto seed, the farmers should not be slapped with a lawsuit by the corporation for patent infringement. As we reported earlier:
Their case was dismissed in February 2012 by Federal Judge Naomi Buchwald, but attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit Public Patent Foundation [which is representing the plaintiffs] said, “The District Court erred when it denied the organic seed plaintiffs the right to seek protection from Monsanto’s patents.”
In July of 2012 the group filed an appeal to reverse the lower court’s decision…
In June of 2013, a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dealt the farmers a blow in dismissing the case.