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

Edited by : Pooja Chaudhuri

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

SCST Quota Supreme Court

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

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?

Supreme Court

1st Time In History: 4 Supreme Court Judges Question The Way The Top Court Is Functioning

Divorce

Mumbai: Family Court Upholds Supreme Court Ruling, Waives Off 6 Month Waiting Period In Divorce

The Arguments Against GM Mustard Seeds

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

DUSU President Used Fake Certificates To Get Admission In Delhi University, NSUI Alleges

My Story

My Story: She Came To City To Beg; There Are Many Like Her Who Are Thrown Out Or Made To Leave Their Houses

News

BJP MP Babul Supriyo Threatens To Break A Man’s Leg At Event For Differently Abled; Later Says He Was Joking

News

More Than 50% Of Mumbai-Chennai Highway Is Unsafe: Report

News

TN BJP Head Claims Auto Driver Beaten Up Was Drunk, Visits His House To ‘Apologise’ With Sweets

News

Out Of Rs 336 Cr, UP Govt Has Not Spent Single Penny For Mothers Under PM’s Maternity Scheme: RTI

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

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