A 2011 lawsuit involving agriculture and biotechnology company Monsanto is again under review in a federal court, media reports say. Last year, a judge dismissed the case that challenges several Monsanto patents and aims to protect farmers against patent infringement lawsuits, the Bangor Daily News reports.
Oral arguments in the case were scheduled to happen Thursday, the St. Louis Business Journal’s Biz Talk blog reports.
Among plaintiffs in the case is Maine-based Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, which planned a demonstration Thursday in conjunction with the court arguments.
According to the Bangor Daily News: "The lawsuit challenges the validity of several patents the company holds for genetically modified crops, and seeks protection for the farmers from patent infringement lawsuits Monsanto could file if its genetically modified seed inadvertently contaminated their crops through natural causes such as seed drift and cross pollination."
Property rights are at the heart of the case, seed association President Jim Gerritsen tells the Bangor news outlet. Meanwhile, Monsanto director of corporate affairs Tom Helscher says the company doesn’t pursue lawsuits against farmers whose fields inadvertently contain trace amounts of patented seed products.
A decision could take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months, Gerritsen tells the Bangor Daily News.