SC refuses to stay Delhi High Court order against Monsanto in patent case

Team SoOLEGAL 8 May 2018 8:12pm

SC refuses to stay Delhi High Court order against Monsanto in patent case

New Delhi: US biotechnology major Monsanto Technologies failed to get relief from Supreme Court bench led by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman as the apex court refused to stay Delhi High Court order that declared  Monsanto Technologies’ patent for BT Cotton seed varieties ‘Bollguard’ and ‘Bollguard II’ as unenforceable in India. While refusing to lift the stay, the court asked for response from Indian company Nuziveedu Seeds which was said to be sub licensee of the US Company.

Mukul Rohatgi as counsel for Monsanto argued that HC revoked its patent in its entirety without trial and scientific evidence and the judgment was contrary to its claim of patent for a chemical product and not for a plant, seed or breeding methods. He said that the HC considered its patent to be a part of a seed, while its claimed invention is an artificial chemical product that does not ordinarily form part of any plant or seed. He said that the impugned order has international ramifications for the Company and   company will continue to supply seeds to the Indian company, which has enjoyed “my patent for 18 years. Stay would in no way affect it.”

It further said that the HC had erroneously directed the company to seek protection under the PPVFR Act 2001, but its invention is not a plant variety under Section 2(za) of the Act, and therefore, incapable of protection under this law. Besides, the HC’s interpretation of Section 3(j) of the Patents Act, 1970, may prove to be an impediment for entry of new technology.

Monsanto claimed that its proprietary Bollgard technology had played a big role in converting India into one of the largest producers of cotton in the world from being a net importer in 2002. The reduction in the damage by using its technology has led to an increase in the average cotton yield in India from 302 kg/ha in 2002 to 541 kg/ha in 2013-14.

The court maintained status quo and posted the matter for next hearing on July 18.

Tagged: SC   Monsanto   Patent   Delhi High Court  
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