Some scientists in India have welcomed a supreme court ruling that reinstates a patent on genetically modified cotton that had been quashed by a lower court. They say the decision to uphold the intellectual-property rights of seed maker Monsanto could help reverse a decline in biotechnology research in agriculture in the country.
“Publicly funded science in this broad area can now be assured of protection of its intellectual property,” says government science adviser Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan, who is based in New Delhi. “Indian agriculture and other biotech scientists should feel encouraged to innovate further.”
But some lawyers say celebrations are premature. Although the supreme court has upheld the patent for now, it has instructed a lower court to re-examine whether Monsanto’s specific patent on GM cotton is valid. Some farmers, scientists and seed-trading companies think the country’s patent laws do not extend to transgenic seeds, crops or plants.
Even though the patent will be reviewed again, industry scientists say that the supreme-court decision will restore companies’ confidence in the patent system….The ruling sets a precedent that a patent cannot be quashed easily in court….Seed companies that invest in research and development need this protection to deter competitors from copying their discoveries, he says.
Read full, original article: Indian court’s decision to uphold GM cotton patent could boost industry research