The Supreme Court on Monday declined to stay the Delhi high court order against Monsanto Technology in its patent dispute with Nuziveedu Seeds.
The Bench presided over by Justice R F Nariman issued notice to all parties and posted the hearing for July 18. Till then, the high court order will stay without any modification.
In its order earlier this month, the high court had ruled that Indian patent law did not allow Monsanto, the world’s largest seed firm, any patent cover for its genetically modified cotton seeds with Bollard I and Bollard II technologies. The court had also allowed Monsanto to approach the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority under the agriculture Ministry for registering the variety within three months. The court further directed Monsanto to continue with its obligations under the sub-licence agreements between the two seed firms. The high court order was passed in the long-pending dispute between the two companies. The point of discord is the interpretation of Section 3(j) of the Patent Act.
It prohibits the grant of patents for plants, plant varieties or seeds.
Monsanto Co said on Monday Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant will step down after the seeds firm completes a deal to be acquired by Bayer AG, according to Reuters.
German conglomerate Bayer is preparing to close its $62.5 billion takeover of Monsanto this quarter in a deal that will give it control of more than 25 percent of the world's seed and pesticides market.
A decision by the apex court will have deep impact on various aspects of agriculture, pharmaceuticals and intellectual property rights.
Monsanto counsel argued the company had invented a method by which the seed is injected with fluid protecting it from pests and diseases. The US-based biotech giant claimed that its invention is registered in 25 countries. The Bench told the counsel that the high court had observed that India was different from other countries.
The judges initially wanted evidence be decided by competent authorities, but later decided to hear the case after the summer vacation.