Supreme Court Ruling Supports Breakthrough 21st Century Technologies, Ensures
That Patent Law Will Protect Continued Advancement In Agriculture Products
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2013
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a unanimous ruling delivered
today, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed its support for protecting U.S.
innovations that are a critical part of supporting the world's growing needs.
The case, Bowman v. Monsanto, centered on the protection of intellectual
property and its outcome was crucial for innovations that deliver benefits to
millions of Americans.
The Supreme Court's decision affirms the basic purpose of the U.S. patent
system – providing an incentive to innovate by providing inventors a
meaningful opportunity to recover costs on their R&D investments. The decision
also reflects the Court's sensitivity to the importance of patent protection
not only for agriculture companies such as Monsanto, but for the basic
incentive structure the patent system provides for innovation.
"The Court's ruling today ensures that longstanding principles of patent law
apply to breakthrough 21^st century technologies that are central to meeting
the growing demands of our planet and its people," said David F. Snively,
Executive Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel of Monsanto. "The
ruling also provides assurance to all inventors throughout the public and
private sectors that they can and should continue to invest in innovation that
feeds people, improves lives, creates jobs, and allows America to keep its
The Court's ruling comes at a time when the role of technology and innovation
in meeting the demands of our world has never been more important. As part of
the proceedings leading up to this case, a wide range of independent
organizations and individuals expressed support for the protection and
preservation of intellectual property rights. This group included: the
American Soybean Association, the American Seed Trade Association, the
Biotechnology Industry Organization, a coalition of leading universities
(including the University of California, Duke University, Emory University,
the University of Illinois, Iowa State, the University of Kansas, Kansas
State, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, and other university organizations such as the Association
of American Universities, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the
Association of Public and Land Grant Universities), the Intellectual Property
Owners Association, the Washington Legal Foundation, and the Business Software
Alliance (whose members include Apple and Microsoft).
Innovation continues to play a critical role in supporting the agriculture
industry and the customers it serves around the world. Today, farmers
throughout the United States and world have a wide range of seed products
available to purchase from hundreds of seed companies each and every season –
these choices include conventional, organic and biotechnology-improved crop
products. Biotechnology-improved crops, one of which was at issue in this
case, have been widely popular among both small-holder and large-scale farmers
as the products enable them to create a sustainable future for their own
farming operation by producing more food with fewer resources. Modern-day
applications in agriculture, including both plant breeding and plant
biotechnology, are expected to continue to make crops more resistant to
disease, drought and pests, and more nutritious for consumers.
Interested parties can access more information about the case, its history,
and the briefs of the parties and the dozens of friends-of-the-court who filed
briefs in the Supreme Court at: www.innovationatstake.com.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions
and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.
Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers
to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural
resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our
commitments, please visit: www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter^®
at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at
www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
Contact Tom Helscher (314-694-3730)
Lee Quarles (314-694-2330)
SOURCE Monsanto Company
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