The Supreme Court unanimously agreed with Monsanto, that and elderly Indiana farmer infringed on the company's patent.
The high court ruled that 75-year-old Vernon Bowman illegally used some of the biotech company's Roundup-resistant soybeans to grow a new crop. Bowman argued that he bought the seeds through a third party. He said the company had abandoned their patent-protected seeds by allowing them to be mixed-in with non-patented seeds.
Experts say this is a victory for inventors who create self-replicating products--like computer software. the ruling will protect their intellectual property. Still, consumers could end up paying higher food prices--farmers will pass on the higher cost of Monsanto's seeds to customers.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Monsanto says its net income increased 22 percent in the second quarter on strong sales of its biotech seeds.
The agricultural products company boosted its full-year earnings guidance, citing its strong performance in the first two quarters.
The St. Louis company says it earned $1.48 billion, or $2.74 per share in the three months ended Feb. 13. That compares to earnings of $1.21 billion, or $2.24 per share, a year ago.
Revenue climbed 15 percent to $5.47 billion.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected Monsanto to report earnings of $2.56 per share on sales of $5.27 billion in revenue for the quarter.
Monsanto has dominated the bioengineered-seed business for more than a decade. In recent years the company has focused on growing business in emerging markets like Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries.
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.