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Monsanto lawyer says company will sue only farmers who illegally use patented seed technology

During Federal Circuit hearing, lawyer claims accidental contamination is not grounds for a lawsuit if farmers don’t benefit from it

Monsanto Corp. is known to be a ruthless litigator, defending its patented seeds against competitors and farmers alike. But NPR reports that last week at the Federal Circuit, one of Monsanto’s lawyers proposed a gentler standard for suing farmers than the one used in a famous Canadian case against farmer Percy Schmeiser.

In that case, the court ruled that Schmeiser “knew or ought to have known” that the canola he was planting in his fields contained Monsanto’s patented “Roundup Ready” gene, even though Schmeiser claimed the gene entered his fields due to wind-blown pollen and that he did not want it there.

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