Justices Seem To Lean Monsanto's Way In Seed Patent Case

By Ryan Davis (February 19, 2013, 7:41 PM EST) -- During oral arguments Tuesday, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared skeptical of a farmer's claim that he did not infringe patents on Monsanto Co.'s Roundup Ready soybean seeds by planting them, repeatedly suggesting that accepting his position would cripple patent rights.

Farmer Vernon Bowman, who purchased second-generation seeds from a grain elevator and planted them, maintains that Monsanto's patent rights were exhausted by the initial sale, so he should not have been found liable for infringement.

In their questions to Bowman's attorney, Mark Walters of Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP, several of the justices indicated their approval of the...

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