U.S. ag wary as Monsanto heads to Supreme Court
Bowman's attorneys allege specifically that the appellate court created a "conditional sale" exception to a long-standing doctrine of patent exhaustion in a way that conflicts with existing law. (For more details, click on )
But Monsanto backers say without extended patent protection, technology companies will not be able to recoup their investment in research and development, and advantageous new technologies could be shelved.
"This case presents a matter of great importance to America's farmers and the decision will have acute impacts on how agricultural producers will... meet the nutritional demands of a growing global population," states one brief filed by 20 soybean, corn, wheat and sugar beet growers groups.
Back on his farm in Indiana, Bowman is looking forward to his trip to Washington and said he does not understand what all the fuss is about. He said few farmers make use of commodity grain for planting, and he doesn't see how a few hundred acres of soybeans hurts Monsanto's billions in annual revenues.
"I bought new seed every year for my first crop. If I had such a good scheme why did I do that," said Bowman.
"If I done something wrong I should pay for it. If I didn't then I shouldn't. I don't think I did," he said.
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