Share this article


Monsanto’s patent on GM cotton seeds valid

download (2)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held that Monsanto’s patent claim on genetically modified (GM) Bt. cotton was valid.

As a result, the patent held by Monsanto, through its Indian arm Mahyco-Monsanto Biotech Ltd (MMBL) over its Bollgard-II Bt cotton seed technology, a GM variant which resists the bollworm pest, was decreed to be unenforceable in India.

A bench headed by Justice R.F. Nariman set aside a 2 May order of the division bench of the Delhi High Court, which had held that plant varieties and seeds cannot be patented under Indian law by companies such as Monsanto Inc., and that royalties on GM technology would be decided by a specialised agency of the agriculture ministry.

A division bench of the Delhi High Court comprising justices Ravindra Bhat and Yogesh Khanna had permitted MMBL to approach the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA) under the agriculture ministry for registering the variety within three months, following which the authority had to decide on a benefit-sharing mechanism. At present, trait fees on Bt cotton seeds are decided by a price control committee under the agriculture ministry.

The court had also directed Monsanto to continue with its obligations under the sub-licence agreements and allowed “the suit to proceed with respect to the claim for damages and other reliefs”, in the light of the sub-licence termination notices issued by Monsanto.”

The court’s order came in a case filed in 2015 by Monsanto, through MMBL, against Nuziveedu Seeds and its subsidiaries for selling Bt cotton seeds using its patented technology despite termination of a licence agreement in November 2015. The order and the court’s interpretation of section 3(j) of the Patents Act, 1970, could prove to be an impediment for the entry of new technology in the Indian agriculture sector as technology developers will lose pricing freedom. Monsanto had appealed the order in the Supreme Court.


Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal to Invest Up to Rs 700 Crore in Jet Airways

Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal is ready to invest up to Rs 700 crore in Jet Airways on the condition that his stake does not fall below 25%. Goyal’s offer comes against the backdrop of strategic partner Etihad reportedly putting forward strict conditions, including that Goyal should give up control, for infusing funds into the crisis-hit carrier.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar Ready to Reconcile with RJD

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday night claimed that he has “lots of love” for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav despite the “harsh words” the latter often uses.

PM Modi Lashes Out At Kerala Government for Sabarimala Mismanagement

In Kollam today for the launch of two projects, PM Modi said: “The CPM government’s conduct on Sabarimala will go down in history as the most shameful action of any government in power… We know CPM government never respected spirituality, religion… but no one thought it would turn so shameful”.

Spat Over Rafale Is On High Gear

In its response to Pune-based activist Vihar Durve who had sought the report from CAG, the country’s auditor said, “The audit is under progress and the report is yet to be finalised. The information cannot be given under Section 8(1)(C) of the RTI Act as the disclosure would cause breach of Parliament”.