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US Supreme Court Hears Seed Patent Case

An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case will weigh in on the patent rights of biotech soybeans.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to make an important decision regarding patents on soybeans, which could have some sweeping implications in the agricultural industry.

Vernon Bowman used seeds from crops he grew at his Southwest Indiana farm, but those seeds were patented by Monsanto, a company that quickly sued Bowman. Now the case is in front of the supreme court.

Don Villwock, the Director of the Indiana Farm Bureau, says there are two very defined sides to the case. One that encourages companies to do research on genetically modified seeds and another that lets farmers do business the way they did, before a 1996 Supreme Court decision that allowed modified living organisms, like soybeans, to be patented.

Villwock says whatever the court decides, the agricultural community will be watching for what could be global modifications to the industry.

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