Monsanto Wins Dismissal of Patent Lawsuit, Farmers Plan Appeal

Image courtesy OSGATA

Monsanto and its shareholders can temporarily rejoice. The multinational seed conglomerate won a dismissal of a class-action lawsuit challenging the company’s patents on genetically modified seed.

Monsanto is known for aggressively filing lawsuits against small farmers for patent infringement. Concerned farmers were no longer able to keep transgenic contamination out of their fields. Many farmers are forced to stop growing certain crops to avoid potential lawsuits.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, threw out the suit, stating that it represented no controversy and that she had not jurisdiction in the matter. She further stated, “There is no evidence that plaintiffs are infringing defendants’ patents, nor have plaintiffs suggested when, if ever, such infringement will occur.”

However, the farmers are not backing down. We contacted Jim Gerritsen, President of The Organic Seed Growers Association (OSGATA), who notified us of plans to appeal Judge Buchwald’s decision.

We received the following statement from Daniel Ravicher, lead attorney for OSGATA:

While I have great respect for Judge Buchwald, her decision to deny farmers the right to seek legal protection from one of the world’s foremost patent bullies is gravely disappointing.  Her belief that farmers are acting unreasonable when they stop growing certain crops to avoid being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement should their crops become contaminated maligns the intelligence and integrity of those farmers.  Her failure to address the purpose of the Declaratory Judgment act and her characterization of binding Supreme Court precedent that supports the farmers’ standing as ‘wholly inapposite’ constitute legal error.  In sum, her opinion is flawed on both the facts and the law.  Thankfully, the plaintiffs have the right to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which will review the matter without deference to her findings.

Disappointing, yes. But no one expected an easy fight, right? This lawsuit threatens the very foundation on which Monsanto is built.

Are you fired up and want to help? Great! Please share this message with your social networks. Want to do even more? Wonderful! Support OSGATA.

As of this writing, OSGATA is currently working on a press release. We’ll be updating this post after it is issued.

UPDATE: OSGATA press release

via [Bloomberg Businessweek]


  1. Thiswas never a fight – it was without merit. Read the judges comments:

    Thus there is no evidence that defendants have commenced
    litigation against anyone standing in similar stead to
    plaintiffs. The suits against dissimilar defendants are
    insufficient on their own to satisfy the affirmative acts
    element, and, at best, are only minimal evidence of any
    objective threat of injury to plaintiffs. Plaintiffs’
    Case 1:11-cv-02163-NRB Document 53 Filed 02/24/12 Page 15 of 24
    alternative allegations that defendants have threatened, though
    not sued, inadvertent users of patented seed, are equally lame.
    These unsubstantiated claims do not carry significant weight,
    given that not one single plaintiff claims to have been so
    threatened.6……………..Indeed, plaintiffs’ letter to defendants seems to have been
    nothing more than an attempt to create a controversy where none
    exists. This effort to convert a statement that defendants have
    no intention of bringing suit into grounds for maintaining a
    case, if accepted, would disincentivize patentees from ever
    attempting to provide comfort to those whom they do not intend
    to sue, behavior which should be countenanced and encouraged. In
    contrast, plaintiffs’ argument is baseless and their tactics not
    to be tolerated.7………………..“[U]nder all the circumstances” outlined above, the
    plaintiffs have not “show[n] that there is a substantial
    controversy, between parties having adverse legal interests, of
    sufficient immediacy and reality to warrant the issuance of a
    declaratory judgment.” AMP, 653 F.3d at 1342-43 (quoting
    MedImmune, 549 U.S. at 127). Defendants have not accused
    plaintiffs of infringement or asserted the right to any
    royalties from plaintiffs, “nor have they taken any actions
    which imply such claims. Instead, all we have before us is
    [plaintiffs’] allegation that [their activities do] not infringe
    the defendants’ patents.” Prasco, 537 F.3d at 1340.10………………….Taken together, it is clear that these circumstances do not
    amount to a substantial controversy and that there has been no
    injury traceable to defendants. We therefore do not have subject
    matter jurisdiction over this action, and it is, accordingly,

    There was to damages and not likely to be any damages ! AIn other words the organic reps are full of bullxxxxx and the lawyers are wasting evryone’s time

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