EXTRACT: Third party requests for reexamination, like the ones filed by PUBPAT, are successful in having the challenged patent either changed or completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.
Patent Abuse: Monsanto Intimidates American Farmers
The Progress Report, 7 December 2006 http://www.progress.org/2006/pat04.htm
Many years ago, patents were used as a way of encouraging invention. Nowadays they are used as a way of halting, chilling, stalling and crushing invention.
Patent Office Finds "Substantial Questions" Regarding the Validity of Each of Monsanto's Four Widely Asserted Patents
In response to requests filed earlier this year by the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), the United States Patent and Trademark Office will undertake a comprehensive review of four patents related to genetically modified crops held by Monsanto Company that the agricultural giant is using to harass, intimidate, sue -- and in some cases literally bankrupt -- American farmers. In its Orders granting the four requested reexaminations, the USPTO found that PUBPAT had submitted new evidence that raised "substantial questions of patentability" for every single claim of each of the four patents.
Monsanto has filed dozens of patent infringement lawsuits asserting the four challenged patents against American farmers, many of whom are unable to hire adequate representation to defend themselves in court. The crime these farmers are accused of is nothing more than saving seed from one year's crop to replant the following year, something farmers have done since the beginning of time.
Now that PUBPAT's requests for reexamination proceedings have been granted, Monsanto has the opportunity to make opening statements to the Patent Office, to which PUBPAT has the right to respond. After opening statements, if any, the Patent Office will proceed to determine whether the four patents (U.S. Patents Nos. 5,164,316, 5,196,525, 5,322,938 and 5,352,605) are indeed invalid in light of the new evidence presented by PUBPAT in its requests. Third party requests for reexamination, like the ones filed by PUBPAT, are successful in having the challenged patent either changed or completely revoked roughly 70% of the time.
"We are extremely pleased with the Patent Office's decision to grant our requests to reexamine the patents Monsanto is using to bully American farmers," said Dan Ravicher, PUBPAT's Executive Director. "This is the first step towards ending the harm being caused to the public by Monsanto's aggressive assertion of these patents, none of which would ever have been issued by the Patent Office had they known of the prior art that we uncovered and submitted as part of our reexamination requests."
Also see: http://www.progress.org/2006/gene110.htm
Lawsuit Challenges Unscientific FDA Policy on Gene-Altered Foods http://www.progress.org/2006/gene110.htm
US Rice Farmers Betrayed by Genetic Manipulators http://www.progress.org/2006/gene111.htm
Human Genes Owned and Patented for Profit http://www.progress.org/tokar01.htm