SC rules in favour of Monsanto's patent of GM Cotton seeds

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled in favour of Bayer AG as Monsanto holding patents on genetically modified cotton seeds as it set aside a Delhi High Court order saying that the American giant can't claim patent on its GM cotton seeds.

Setting aside the division bench order, the bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Navin Sinha said, "The order of the Single Judge dated March 28, 2017, is restored and the suit is remanded to the single judge for disposal in accordance with law."

The court said, "In view of the importance of the question involved, we expect the parties to cooperate and facilitate the single judge order in early disposal of the case."

Justice Sinha speaking for the bench said, "The division bench ought to have confined itself to examine the validity of the order of injunction granted by the single judge only."

The top court said: "We are not inclined to remand the matter for that purpose to the Division Bench as we are satisfied in the facts and circumstances of the case that the nature of the injunctive relief granted by the single judge was in order and merits no interference during the pendency of the suit."

Monsanto had sought permanent injunction against Indian company Nuziveedu Seeds Limited from using the trade mark 'BOLGARD' and 'BOLGARD II' brand cotton technology, violating its registered patent.

It had further sought to restrain Nuziveedu Ltd from selling and or using seeds/hybrid seeds bearing the patented technology.

The single judge by its March 28, 2017 order while deciding Monsanto's plea had said that issues arising in the suit necessarily required formal proof, particularly expert opinion, which in complicated matters like that of patent were crucial for ascertaining the breadth of the monopoly granted by the specifications of a patent claim.

The single judge further ordered that "during the pendency of the suit, the parties shall remain bound by their respective obligations under the sublicence agreement and that the licence fee/trait value payable by the defendant shall be governed by the laws in force."

--IANS

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