EU court sets limits on GMO patents
Monsanto cannot use its European patent on a soybean DNA sequence to prohibit the sale of soybean meal in the EU, says the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ’s final ruling confirms the initial opinion of its advocate general on the case in March ( Agrow No 588, p 11). The lawsuit relates to Monsanto’s attempts to gain royalty payments on EU imports of soybean meal from Argentina. The company recently withdrew its claim against two importers, Toepfer International and Cefetra ( Agrow No 595, p 2). The ruling is significant for being the first legal interpretation of the scope of European biotechnology patents.