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   America Imposing its Patents on Iraq
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Wiscagent
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Re: America Imposing its Patents on Iraq
« Reply #10 on: Dec 21st, 2005, 9:55pm »
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Isaac wrote:  "... it just isn't as simple as just don't use the patented seed.  The patented stuff gets into [everything] ... people who may have taken no steps to plant or exploit the properties of patented herbicide resistant seeds might end up losing their entire crops due to contamination...I don't see a way to fix the problem without creating a huge [patent law] loophole ..."
 
Consider this scenario: Farmer Jones plants his traditional crop from last year's seed.  Last year Farmer Jones' crops were unintentionally cross pollinated with genetically enhanced crops (or Frankencrops, if you prefer).  
 
Monsanto purchases this year's crops, takes a close look and charges Farmer Jones with infringing their Frankencrop patent.
 
Wouldn't Farmer Jones have a cause for a countersuit against Monsanto for contaminating his crops?  From Jones' perspective, Monsanto's evil seed ruined his crops.  
 
I would think that unless Monsanto can show that Jones' intentionally allowed his crops to be cross-pollinated, Monsanto would have an uphill battle arguing that they did not ruin Jones' crops.  Jones did not intend to grow their Frankencrap.
 
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
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Isaac
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Re: America Imposing its Patents on Iraq
« Reply #11 on: Dec 21st, 2005, 11:07pm »
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on Dec 21st, 2005, 9:55pm, Wiscagent wrote:

Consider this scenario: Farmer Jones plants his traditional crop from last year's seed.  Last year Farmer Jones' crops were unintentionally cross pollinated with genetically enhanced crops (or Frankencrops, if you prefer).  
 
Monsanto purchases this year's crops, takes a close look and charges Farmer Jones with infringing their Frankencrop patent.
 
Wouldn't Farmer Jones have a cause for a countersuit against Monsanto for contaminating his crops?  From Jones' perspective, Monsanto's evil seed ruined his crops.  

 
How would Monsantobe culpable?  They did not plant anything.  Are they responsible for the actions of the farmers they sold seed to?  
 
Quote:

I would think that unless Monsanto can show that Jones' intentionally allowed his crops to be cross-pollinated, Monsanto would have an uphill battle arguing that they did not ruin Jones' crops.  Jones did not intend to grow their Frankencrap.

 
Infringement does not require intent to infringe.    
 
If Jones did not do anything and the plants just grew, he is not the infringer.  But if he irrigates, fertilizes, etc and the result is that some infringing plants grow arguably he is making a patent product.  Even if Jones can escape infringment from making patented plants, he cannot escape the consequences of selling the unintentionally grown plants.  If he is unable to separate them from conventional plants, he loses his entire crop.
 
« Last Edit: Dec 21st, 2005, 11:16pm by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
Wiscagent
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Re: America Imposing its Patents on Iraq
« Reply #12 on: Dec 22nd, 2005, 7:40am »
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Isaac -
 
I agree with your assessment of the infringement issue in the Farmer Jones scenario.
 
What I’m still unclear on is Monsanto’s level of responsibility for opening a Pandora’s box that resulted in Jones’ crops being ruined (if he wanted to sell them as “all natural”).  Wouldn’t this be an apt analogy?
 
   I start a fire to clear out weeds in my field.  Whether
   through carelessness, or just an unpredictable shift in
   the wind, I destroy your crops.
 
Wouldn’t I be liable for your loss?  Isn’t Monsanto’s failure to control its gene line analogous?
 
  - Richard Tanzer
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Isaac
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Re: America Imposing its Patents on Iraq
« Reply #13 on: Dec 22nd, 2005, 10:50am »
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I think you can argue that there is what the organic farmer would perceive as an injury, but a question might be whether it is an injury the law would recognize, and for which the law provides a remedy.  Finally there is the question whether the law would find Monsanto the proximate cause in the chain of causation.
 
Maybe Monsanto would be like a match salesman who sold matches to someone who set brush fires, and the causation chain (for liability purposes) would not reach the match salesman even though he may be an actual cause.  
 
I'm frankly skeptical that Monsanto would be liable, but I haven't done any research.
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Isaac
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