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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Monsanto in Biotech Patent Case


The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that an Indiana farmer violated agribusiness company Monsanto's patent for a type of soybean.

In a case closely watched by the biotechnology industry, the court agreed unanimously with Monsanto that Vernon Bowman, 75, had performed an end-run around the law when he bought soybean grain typically used for animal feed but planted it instead.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote on behalf of the court that Monsanto's patent protections were not, in legal terminology, "exhausted" when Bowman used the seeds without the company's permission.

She made it clear that the scope of the ruling was limited to Bowman's case and did not apply to other self-replicating products, such as computer software.

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