Bowman v. Monsanto

Decision: May 13, 2013, 9-0

Summary on SCOTUSBlog

So, Monsanto is a huge company in the food industry.


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They make seeds that are resistant to pesticides, which for farmers is all

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And maybe for the rest of us is all

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but whatever, anyway,



This is Vernon Hugh Bowman.

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He bought soybean seeds from Monsanto and grew a crop of soybeans, which grew up and made seeds, because… plants. Bowman collected and replanted them, because… farming.

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Monsanto says Bowman can’t do that: because they hold a patent, farmers should re-buy seeds every season.

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Bowman says he didn’t make copies of the seed, the plants did.

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SCOTUS didn’t buy this.

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They agreed with Monsanto, and with the lower court: you can’t reuse copies of patented stuff for profit.

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Sorry, Bowman.

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