Court of Justice limits DNA protection in Monsanto case
In its first foray into substantive patent law, the Court of Justice of the EU has said that DNA sequences can only be protected when they perform the function specified in the patent
decision of the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice was
published today, even though the dispute between Monstanto and
Cafetra was settled on June 23.
The Court was asked to address four questions on the
interpretation of the 1998 EU Biotech Directive by a court in
the Netherlands, after Monsanto sued Cafetra, which was
importing soy meal from Argentina.
Monsanto alleged that the soy infringed its European patent
for Glyphosate tolerant 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate
synthases, which was granted in 1996. The invention is used in
its Roundup Ready soya plants.
While the Dutch court agreed that the imported soy included
the DNA sequence covered by Monsantos patent, it was
uncertain whether there was infringement as the DNA sequence
was no longer performing its intended function in the (dead)
In response to the questions, the...
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