Monsanto Corp. is no stranger to the legal system. But the agriculture giant is now headed to the highest courtroom in the land, after the Supreme Court announced earlier this month that it will review a case involving the company’s patented seeds.
The plaintiff in the case is Vernon Hugh Bowman, an Indiana farmer who regularly purchased Monsanto’s pesticide-resistant soybean seeds for the spring/early summer growing season. After harvesting his first crop, however, Bowman occasionally tried to plant seeds for a second harvest. In an attempt to save money, Bowman often bought cheap seeds from grain elevators and fellow farmers, or simply used seeds that he had saved from previous seasons.