How much weight should the Supreme Court give to the government's stance on patent exhaustion? Are self-replicating technologies protected by patents?
If you could talk about patent exhaustion until you're literally exhausted, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) is hosting a webinar this week about Bowman v. Monsanto that you might want to check out.
Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Bowman, a case to decide whether patent exhaustion applies to self-replicating technologies like seeds. Monsanto has prevailed thus far over Vernon Bowman, the Indiana farmer at the center of the case. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals previously upheld an $84,456 judgment against Bowman. If the justices' questions on Tuesday were any indication -- maybe they're not -- Bowman could be facing another loss.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the justices "sounded skeptical" of Bowman's assertion that Monsanto's patent on its Roundup Ready soybeans was exhausted once they were mixed with other beans and then sold.
The U.S. government is also skeptical of Bowman's patent exhaustion theory: The government's amicus brief argues that the authorized sale of one article embodying a patented invention does not exhaust the patentee's exclusive right to control the creation of other articles embodying the invention.
During a one-hour webinar on Friday, a panel consisting of Prof. Shubha Ghosh of the University of Wisconsin Law School, Patent Docs author Kevin Noonan of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, and Andrew Pincus of Mayer Brown LLP will discuss the Bowman oral argument -- including the questioning by the Court -- and attempt to tally the Justices' votes. (Brief thanks, PatentDocs.org.)
The IPO-sponsored webinar, entitled, "Bowman v. Monsanto: The U.S. Supreme Court Hearing" will be February 22, 2013 beginning at 1:00 pm (ET). The registration fee is $120, though government and academic rates are available upon request.
If you're interested, you can register here.
- Planting the Seed for Patent Exhaustion: Will Monsanto Win Again? (FindLaw's Supreme Court Blog)
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