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Organic Seed Growers et al v. Monsanto

Organic Seed Growers et al v. Monsanto

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Published by nphillips0304

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Published by: nphillips0304 on Apr 01, 2011
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07/10/2013

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Case 1:11-cv-02163-NRB Document 1 Filed 03/29/11 Page 1 of 52
 
INTRODUCTION1. Society stands on the precipice of forever being bound to transgenic agriculture andtransgenic food.
1
 Coexistence between transgenic seed and organic seed is impossible becausetransgenic seed contaminates and eventually overcomes organic seed. History has already shownthis, as soon after transgenic seed for canola was introduced, organic canola became virtuallyextinct as a result of transgenic seed contamination. Organic corn, soybean, cotton, sugar beetand alfalfa now face the same fate, as transgenic seed has been released for each of those crops,too. And transgenic seed is being developed for many other crops, thus putting the future of allfood, and indeed all agriculture, at stake.2. Plaintiffs in this matter represent farmers and seed businesses who do not want touse or sell transgenic seed. Plaintiffs are largely organic farmers and organic seed businesses, butalso include non­organic farmers who nonetheless wish to farm without transgenic seed.Plaintiffs are increasingly being threatened by transgenic seed contamination despite using theirbest efforts to avoid it. This causes Plaintiffs to fear that, if they do indeed become contaminatedby transgenic seed, which may very well be inevitable given the proliferation of transgenic seedtoday, they could quite perversely also be accused of patent infringement by the companyresponsible for the transgenic seed that contaminates them. Thus, Plaintiffs bring this action toprotect themselves from ever being accused of infringing patents on transgenic seed.3. Monsanto is a chemical company that was previously responsible for introducing tothe world Agent Orange, DDT, PCB's and other toxins. Monsanto is now the world's leading1 Transgenic means to introduce the genetic code of one species into another. Transgenic plantsare sometimes referred to as “genetically modified (GM)” or “genetically engineered (GE),”however those terms are imprecise and, therefore, not used herein.2
Case 1:11-cv-02163-NRB Document 1 Filed 03/29/11 Page 2 of 52
 
proponent of transgenic seed and holds many patents relating thereto that it has aggressivelyasserted against literally hundreds of farmers, including those farmers who became contaminatedby Monsanto's transgenic seed through no fault of their own. Public awareness of Monsanto'spatent assertion activities is high and it contributes mightily to Plaintiffs' fears that they, too,could most assuredly be accused of patent infringement in the near future if and when theybecome contaminated by Monsanto's transgenic seed.4. Through this action, Plaintiffs ask the Court to declare that, should they ever becontaminated by Monsanto's transgenic seed, they need not fear being sued for patentinfringement. As set forth below, there are several legal bases for this declaration, the principalone of which is that patents on transgenic seed fail to satisfy the requirement of both theConstitution and the Patent Act that only technology with a beneficial societal use may bepatented. U. S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 8 (“To promote the Progress of Science and
useful
Arts”)(emphasis added); 35 U.S.C. § 101 (“Whoever invents or discovers any new and
useful
process,machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and
useful
improvement thereof,may obtain a patent therefor”) (emphasis added). As Justice Story wrote in 1817, to bepatentable, an invention must not be “injurious to the well­being, good policy, or sound morals of society,” and “a new invention to poison people ... is not a patentable invention.”
Lowell v. Lewis
,15 F. Cas. 1018 (C.C.D. Mass. 1817). Because transgenic seed, and in particular Monsanto'stransgenic seed, is “injurious to the well­being, good policy, or sound morals of society” andthreatens to “poison people,” Monsanto's transgenic seed patents are all invalid.5. Monsanto's patents are additionally invalid for other failures to meet the3
Case 1:11-cv-02163-NRB Document 1 Filed 03/29/11 Page 3 of 52

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