Monsanto Looking Good After SCOTUS Oral Argument

monsanto-thumbBy: Gene Quinn (

Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the matter of Bowman v. Monsanto. For a recitation of the facts and procedural history, see Argument Summary. For purposes of this article suffice it to say that the case is about a farmer who did not want to buy Monsanto’s patented seed. He acquired seed from a grain elevator knowing that at least some would be Monsanto patented seed. He planted all the seed and applied Roundup® to kill everything but the Monsanto crop. He then harvested the progeny seeds for future use.


Dialogue Between the Bench and Bar

At the 6th Annual Patent Law Institute a few months ago, attendees bore witness to a panel discussion unlike any other. The panel, entitled, “Dialogue Between the Bench and Bar,” featured a lively discussion between Seth Waxman, former Solicitor General of the United States and currently Partner at Wilmer Hale, and Chief Judge Randall Rader of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. At issue was the mixing of the law and politics, and whether the act of  parties lobbying the White House in order to obtain a favorable amici brief from the Department of Justice was a dangerous ethical quandary.

The discussion was described as “lively, perhaps even explosive.” See for yourself below:

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The “6th Annual Patent Law Institute” is currently available for viewing on demand. The on demand program includes access to the Institute’s Course Handbook.

Microsoft v. i4i – The Supreme Court Keeps the Clear and Convincing Standard

In the Microsoft Corp. v. i4i, the Supreme Court had to determine whether the burden of proof for parties alleging patent invalidity should be changed from a clear and convincing standard to a preponderance of the evidence standard.  Yesterday, the Court unanimously decided no!!  Garth M. Dahlen, Ph.D., Partner at Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, LLP, sent in this article discussing  the decision and possible ramifications.

Yesterday in Microsoft v. i4i __ U.S. __ (2011)(Sotomayor, J.), opinion below, i4i Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., 589 F.3d 1246 (Fed. Cir. 2009)(Prost, J.), the Supreme Court gave a unanimous decision affirming the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of 35 U.S.C. §282 requiring clear and convincing evidence for an invalidity defense.

The statute at issue was 35 U.S.C. §282 which states:

A patent shall be presumed valid…. The burden of establishing invalidity of a patent or any claim thereof shall rest on the party asserting such invalidity. (more…)