Monsanto's Monopoly Challenged in Munich -- Final Verdict

[This is a guest-post by the ETC Group. The first part of this two part post is here -Ed.]

We just defeated Monsanto! (or at least their patent!). We just had amazing news through from Hope Shand and our legal team in Munich opposing Monsanto’s Soybean patent. The European patent office has just ruled that the patent is revoked! This comes after a 13 year battle trying to challenge this patent which had conferred Monsanto a species-wide monopoly on soybeans.

Daniel Alexander and Tim Roberts (ETC Group’s lawyers) made brilliant arguments. the patent’s claim to novelty and sufficiency were knocked down and the entire patent unraveled afterwards. The tragedy, of course, is that it took 13 years to kill this immoral patent — which was ultimately revoked on technical merits. In addition to ETC Group and Greenpeace, Syngenta also made oral arguments opposing the patent.

One of the key arguments that won the day was using Monsanto’s original 1994 opposition statement - -the famous Hinchee Declaration. Monsanto originally opposed the patent when it wasgranted to Agracetus. they then dropped their opposition when they bought Agracetus and have since used it to bully farmers, grain traders and even countries. It is the most delicious irony that Monsanto’s own arguments against the patent (1994) were key in defeating it ultimately. More here.

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