The Supreme Court will not review a lower court decision protecting Monsanto’s right to sue farmers inadvertently found to have crops containing the company’s GMO patents. As noted in the FoodDemocracyNow website, “farmers had sought Court protection under the Declaratory Judgment Act that should they become the innocent victims of contamination by Monsanto’s patented gene-splice technology they could not perversely be sued for patent infringement.”
As more and more manufacturers and retailers seek out non-GMO ingredients and foods, the penalty for have one’s crops accidentally contaminated with Monsanto’s seeds is hardly insignificant, yet to date Monsanto has refused to agree not to pursue legal action against such victims.
However Daniel Ravicher, Executive Director of the Pubnlic Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) and lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the case noted that while the “Supreme Court’s decision to not give organic and other non-GMO farmers the right to seek preemptive protection from Monsanto’s patents at this time is disappointing, itshould not be misinterpreted as meaning that Monsanto has the right to bring such suits.”
Ravicher continued noting that “ in light of the Court of Appeals decision, Monsanto may not sue any contaminated farmer for patent infringement if the level of contamination is less than one percent. For farmers contaminated by more than one percent, perhaps a day will come to address whether Monsanto’s patents may be asserted against them. We are confident that if the courts ever hear such a case, they will rule for the non-GMO farmers.”