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Monsanto soy bean patent case in U.S. Supreme Court today

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in Creve Coeur-based Monsanto's soybean patent claim. The biotech giant will argue that the patent for Roundup Ready soybeans extends to the offspring of the beans.

The case dates back to 2007, when Monsanto sued an Indiana farmer for planting the progeny of the patented beans. Monsanto won in U.S. District Court, and in the U.S. Court of Appeals. But that farmer, 75 year old Vernon Hugh Bowman has appealed to the high court.

Court watchers say this case has implications beyond genetically modified seeds, extending to other new technologies.

Briefs from Monsanto supporters, like the University of Missouri and Microsoft argue that a decision against Monsanto would have a chilling effect on innovation. Bowman's supporters argue that that would extend patent claims to an unreasonable length.

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