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EU legal view limits patent protection on GMO imports

Monsanto’s European patent on genetically modified glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready soybeans does not apply to imports of processed soybean meal derived from the crop, says Paolo Mengozzi, advocate general of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). His opinion is a blow to Monsanto’s long-running attempts to gain royalty payments on the soybeans grown in Argentina. It does not have an Argentine patent, but sued certain Dutch importers for infringing its European patent, after tests revealed that imports from Argentina contained traces of DNA material from Roundup Ready soybeans ( Agrow No 489, p 14). The Dutch court sought advice from the ECJ, which will take Mr Mengozzi’s opinion into account when it makes its final ruling.

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