India’s Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay an order by the High Court, which held that U.S. seed v company Monsanto cannot claim patents on its Genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds.
The Supreme Court reportedly refused to stay the High Court’s decision. The effect of this decision is that Indian patent number 214436, which covers “Methods for transforming plants to express bacillus thuringiensis deltaendotoxins”, is unenforceable pending an appeal.
Last month, the High Court of Delhi concurred with Indian seed company, Nuziveedu (the plaintiff), which argued that the Indian Patent Act does not allow Monsanto any patent over its GM Cotton seeds.
Monsanto had argued that the biotech invention covered by the ‘436 patent contains “the infusion of the Bt gene into the cotton genome”, which eradicates pests afflicting cotton plants, and that components in the invention fall under microbiological processes and microorganisms, making it patentable.
However, the High Court of Delhi disagreed holding that the invention falls within section 3(j) of the Patents Act which prohibits a patent for plants, including seeds and varieties.
The case is scheduled for preliminary hearing on July 18, 2018.