Monsanto Cannot Patent BT Cotton Seeds In India, Says Supreme Court

The Logical Indian Crew

May 10th, 2018 / 6:00 PM

Image Credits: Business Insider

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay a Delhi high court order which held that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented under the Indian law. World’s biggest supplier of seeds Monsanto had appealed against the invalidation of its patent on Bt cotton seed variety Bollgard II.

Monsanto holds the patent over its Bollgard-II Bt cotton seed technology through its Indian arm Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech Ltd (MMBL). It’s a Genetically Modified (GM) variant which resists bollworm pest. After the Court’s order, the patent stands to be invalid in India.

“We remain confident on the merits of the case. India has been issuing patents on man-made biotech products for more than 15 years, as is done widely across the globe,” said the Monsanto India spokesperson to Reuters.

As per The Economic Times, the Delhi High Court, on April 11, had ruled that Monsanto’s patent was not valid under Section 3(j) of the Patent Act.

Section 3 (j) states that “plants and parts thereof as well as an essentially biological process for production or propagation of plants are not inventions that can be patented.” The court had also directed Monsanto to seek intellectual property protection under the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Right (PPVFR) Act 2001. It had given Monsanto three months to appeal to the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority for relief under the PPVFR Act.

The Delhi High Court decision will benefit farmers by reducing royalties and seed prices. The court had also stayed the decision of a single judge on the issue of trait fee payable to Monsanto by Indian companies under the sub-licence with them. The Indian companies would pay trait fees to Monsanto according to government-set rates, said the single judge, as per The Hindu Business Line. The US-based agro major Monsanto Technology wanted to charge a higher rate of trait fee under the sub-licence given to Indian companies to use its seed technology. Monsanto’s GM cotton seed technology currently dominates 90 percent of India’s cotton acreage.

“Instead of taking intellectual property rights under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, (PPVFR) Act, 2001, Monsanto took the patent route to exercise the monopoly. They licensed this Bt cotton transgenic varieties to many Indian companies in the name of the patent. This is held wrong by the high court. This will reduce royalties on seed prices and would give relief to farmers,” said Kalyan Goswami, director general of National Seed Association of India.

The petition was heard by Supreme Court justices Rohinton Nariman and Abhay Manohar Sapre on Monday. The case has been submitted for an expedited preliminary hearing on July 18.


Also published on Medium.


Contributors

Written by : Ruchika Jha (Guest Author)

Edited by : Pooja Chaudhuri

Related Stories

Bt Cotton

16 Yrs Since Bt Cotton Was Introduced For Commercial Cultivation – Was The Decision Correct?

SCST Quota Supreme Court

Cannot Claim SC/ST Benefits In Second State Unless Caste Notified There: Supreme Court

California Court Orders Monsanto To Compensate $289 Million Dollars Deewayne Johnson Cancer

Monsanto Asked To Compensate $289 Million To Man Who Got Cancer From Using Their Weedkiller

Assam NRC

Centre Cannot Take Action Against 40 Lakh People Left Out Of The NRC List: Supreme Court

Union Minister Says Pesticide Usage Reduced, Cotton Yield Increased Because of BT Cotton. Is It True?

The Arguments Against GM Mustard Seeds

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

In A Letter To PM Modi, E. Sreedharan Opposes Delhi Govt’s Proposal To Give Free Rides To Women

Get Inspired

An Open Letter To Dad

News

Govt Reduces Contribution Of Employees & Employers Towards ESI Scheme; May Result In Increased Take-Home Salary

Get Inspired

To Ensure Fair Election, Kannur District In Kerala Had 100% Video Surveillance Across Its Polling Booths

Exclusive

“We Will Not Tolerate Harassment And Beating Anymore”: Protesting Doctors In West Bengal

News

USA Creates More Greenhouse Gases Through Its Defense Operations Than Many Industrialised Nations

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.