Universities Back Monsanto In High Court Seed Patent Case

By Ryan Davis (January 24, 2013, 8:16 PM EST) -- A group of major universities urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to uphold an infringement ruling against a farmer who planted Monsanto Co.'s patented soybean seeds, arguing that to rule otherwise would threaten university research into cutting-edge technology.

Ahead of oral arguments in the case set for next month, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and others said the Federal Circuit correctly held that farmer Vernon Bowman infringed its patents because he created new seeds by planting the ones he purchased.

While Bowman claims Monsanto's rights to the seeds were exhausted by a prior sale, the universities said that accepting that...

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