Patent Exhaustion and Self-Replicating Technologies: Amicus Brief in Support of Bowman by the American Antitrust Institute
47 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 12, 2012
In Bowman v Monsanto, the United States Supreme Court will review a decision by the Federal Circuit creating an exception to the patent exhaustion doctrine for self-replicating technologies such as genetically modified germplasm propagated through seeds. This amicus brief represents the views of the American Antitrust Institute in support of Bowman, the farmer found liable for infringing Monsanto's patent. The principal argument is that the Federal Circuit's ruling undermines the pro-competition goals of patent exhaustion by creating an exception for an ill-defined and narrow class of technology. The authors of the brief argue that the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in Quanta v LG Electronics applies to the sale of the patented technology embodied in the seed. Not only is Quanta apposite to the facts of the transaction at issue, but Monsanto can be adequately compensated for violations of the terms of the sale through contract law. In this way, both the goals of patent law and antitrust law are harmonized.
Keywords: Antitrust, Intellectual Property, Patent, Agriculture, Law and Policy
JEL Classification: K2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation