By admin       2019-01-31

Some researchers think that the court should not uphold Monsanto’s patent. Polumetla Ananda Kumar, a plant biologist at the Indian Institute of Rice Research in Hyderabad, says many agricultural scientists were aware that crystal proteins in B. thuringiensis could be inserted into the cotton genome to protect crops from pests when the company filed its patent claim in 1998. “Theoretically speaking, one cannot file a patent on an invention about which prior knowledge is available,” Kumar says. “So, on that basis itself, this patent application doesn’t stand any validity in India.”Bayer currently restricts use of the transgene in India to certain hybrid varieties of cotton. However, if the patent is denied, the company will no longer exercise control over the varieties that get released to farmers, says Keshav Kranthi, head of technical information at the International Cotton Advisory Council in Washington DC. Scientists in public institutions would be free to incorporate the transgene into non-hybrid varieties, says Kranthi. This could improve yields for some farmers, because hybrids are not well suited to the non-irrigated regions that make up 62% of cotton acreage in India, he says.A Bayer spokesperson says the company is confident that it can defend any challenge to the patent. No date has been set for the retrial.But if the high court finds in Bayer's favour, Nuziveedu Seeds will appeal the decision, says Murali Krishna Narne, a lawyer for the company.

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