Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser has lost his battle against Monsanto as Canada’s Supreme Court found in favour of the US-based biotech giant in a patent infringement case.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Schmeiser infringed on Monsanto’s patent for Roundup Ready canola, which Monsanto claimed Schmeiser had planted 1,030 acres of without paying the required license fee.
The case dates back to 1997, when Monsanto found the genetically modified canola growing on Schmeiser’s farm. Schmeiser claimed the canola was growing there by accident, having either been blown there by a passing truck or arriving by cross-pollination from neighbouring fields.
Monsanto hailed the ruling as “good news for farmers and Canadians”. As a result of the ruling, Schmeiser will have an injunction against him, preventing him from planting, growing, cultivating, harvesting, selling, marketing or distributing Roundup Ready canola. He will also have to deliver to Monsanto any seed in his possession known to contain the Roundup Ready gene.
However, the court said there was insufficient evidence that Schmeiser intentionally made use of Monsanto’s technology by spraying his crop with Roundup, and therefore both sides would have to pay their own costs.