By Rady Ananda
“A new invention to poison people … is not a patentable invention.” Lowell v. Lewis, 1817
A landmark lawsuit filed on March 29 in US federal court seeks to invalidate Monsanto’s patents on genetically modified seeds and to prohibit the company from suing those whose crops become genetically contaminated.
The Public Patent Foundation filed suit on behalf of 270,000 people from sixty organic and sustainable businesses and trade associations, including thousands of certified-organic farmers.
“As Justice Story wrote in 1817, to be patentable, an invention must not be ‘injurious to the well being, good policy, or sound morals of society,’” notes the complaint in its opening paragraphs.