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NUZIVEEDU SEEDS LTD. VS. MONSANTO TECHNOLOGY LLC


Posted By Sarthak on 27 April 2018

Case Titile: NUZIVEEDU SEEDS LTD. AND ORS. VS. MONSANTO TECHNOLOGY LLC & ORS.

Citation: 2018 SCC Online Del 8326

Brief Note:

  • Monsanto sold 50 seeds of a Bt. Cotton transgentic variety (Donor Seeds) for 50 Lakhs to Nuziveedu and its subsidiaries under licensing agreements. Nuziveedu and its subsidiaries used those Donor Seeds in their breeding program to inherit the Bt. Cotton trait to their proprietary cotton plant varieties.
  • Acc. to Nuziveedu, the Bt. Cotton plant varieties developed by it and its subsidiaries have their own distinct characteristics, apart from the Bt. Trait and distinct from the Donor seeds variety initially provided by Monsanto. Nuziveedu and its subsidiaries stated that they have applied for IP Protection for all their Bt. Cotton plant varieties under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act, 2001.
  • The Court held as under:
    • The subject patent falls within the exclusion spelt out by section 3 (j) of Patents Act; the subject patent and the claims covered by it were consequently held to be unpatentable.
    • Monsanto’s suit, to the extent it seeks enforcement of the subject patent, was dismissed with liberty to proceed with respect to the claim for damages and other reliefs, in the light of the sub-license termination notices issued.
    • The Ld. single judge’s directions to Monsanto to continue with its obligations under the sub-license agreements, including consequential orders with respect to payment and receipt of trait value, were upheld.
    • Monsanto can apply for registration under the PV Act (within three months of this judgement); if it does so in terms of the judgment, the benefit of its previous patent can be granted to it, for the purposes of the purposes of the said Act, in respect of determination of prior publicaition provisions and requirements.

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