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Supreme Court rules in favor of Pioneer Hi-Bred in patent case

(Dec. 11, 2001 – CropChoice news) -- The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday ruled in the case of J.E.M. Ag Supply v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, 99-1996, that seeds may be patented. By a vote of 6 to 2, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing for the majority, the Court ruled that utility patents may be issued for plants. In so doing, it upheld Pioneer’s claim that J.E.M. Ag Supply had infringed the patent on Pioneer hybrid corn seed by re-selling bags of the seed without a license.

This decision doesn't bode well for farmers' right to save seed.

Biotech companies have been patenting not only genetically modified seed, but also conventional varieties.

To view the decision, visit: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/10dec20011115/www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/01pdf/99-1996.pdf To see past stories, go to: