75 family farmers, seed businesses, and agricultural organizations representing over 300,000 individuals and 4,500 farms filed a brief today with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., asking the appellate court to reverse a lower court’s decision from February dismissing their protective legal action against agricultural giant Monsanto’s patents on genetically engineered seed.
Plaintiffs brought the pre-emptive case against Monsanto in March 2011 in the Southern District of New York to defend ourselves from Monsanto’s most aggressively asserted patents on GMO seed.
In an attempt to sidestep the challenge, Monsanto moved to have the case dismissed, saying that the plaintiffs’ concerns were unrealistic. In February 2012, the district court took Monsanto’s side and dismissed the case, ridiculing the farmers in the process.
“Monsanto is known for bullying farmers by making baseless accusations of patent infringement,” said attorney Dan Ravicher of the not-for-profit legal services organization Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), which represents the plaintiffs in the suit. “They’ve sued and harassed many other farmers who wanted nothing to do with their genetically modified seed and now that organic and conventional farmers are fighting back, they claim they would never do such a thing without backing up their words
with an enforceable promise.”
Read the full press release.