In Bayer Cropscience AG v. Dow AgroSciences LLC, the Federal Circuit upheld the district court’s claim construction that interpreted “2,4-D monooxygenase” in accordance with its established scientific meaning, even though the exemplified embodiment was shown not to be a “monooxygenase.” This case illustrates the risks of functional claim language, particularly if the recited function is … Continue reading this entry
In Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association v. Monsanto Co., the Federal Circuit dismissed the plaintiffs’ declaratory judgment action against Monsanto, but in so doing held that Monsanto would be judicially estopped from asserting its patents against these farmers for inadvertent infringement that results in the production, use, or sale of only trace amounts of … Continue reading this entry
Congresswoman Kaptur (D-Ohio) renewed her efforts to allow farmers to harvest and replant seeds obtained from plants derived from patented seeds, by introducing the Seed Availability and Competition Act of 2011 (H.R. 307). Agricultural biotech companies who develop genetically engineered seeds to produce crops with improved properties may take comfort in the fact that Kaptur has been introducing legislation along these lines since 2004 to no avail. Still, with growing public mistrust of genetically modified organisms--and genetically modified food in particular--the agricultural biotech industry should not be complacent in the face of efforts to undermine important patent rights.
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