About the Authors

  • The Authors and Contributors of "Patent Docs" are patent attorneys and agents, many of whom hold doctorates in a diverse array of disciplines.
2018 Juristant Badge - MBHB_165
Juristat #4 Overall Rank

E-mail Newsletter

  • Enter your e-mail address below to receive the "Patent Docs" e-mail newsletter.

Contact the Docs


  • "Patent Docs" does not contain any legal advice whatsoever. This weblog is for informational purposes only, and its publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. In addition, nothing on "Patent Docs" constitutes a solicitation for business. This weblog is intended primarily for other attorneys. Moreover, "Patent Docs" is the personal weblog of the Authors; it is not edited by the Authors' employers or clients and, as such, no part of this weblog may be so attributed. All posts on "Patent Docs" should be double-checked for their accuracy and current applicability.
Juristat #8 Overall Rank


« After Myriad: A Herd of Elephants in the Room | Main | ABA 2013 Annual Meeting »

July 04, 2013


Monsanto has never sued a farmer -organic or not who simple had contamination in their field. You guys made up the story they did and people believed it - like many ant-GM stories but its not true. The organic growers couldn't provide a single example of an organic grower being sued.

The organic growers lost. They came away with a guarantee they wouldn't be sued - which is worthless since they weren't going to be sued in the first place

True, and now they are judicially estopped from doing so. While not a win for PubPat it is a win for Monsanto, if only because now they have some peace for the last few years these patents are in force.

But the reference to windmill tilting should let you know what I think of PubPat's efforts.

Thanks for the comment.

Dr. Noonan,

The judicial estoppel should be recognized for how thin it is.

Note that Monsanto was adamant about playing their word games (refusing to give an actual covenant not to sue) - and that their estoppel only goes as far as their statement that they did not see a legal cause of action - a statement that the opinion itself negates.

In essence, the estoppel is vapor thin, and rests more on a court being upset with being played than with any actual 'word' that can be held against Monsanto.

Dear Skeptical:

I think Monsanto would be well advised not to sue these plaintiffs, and if I represented other organic farmers I would base my motion to dismiss any future lawsuit by placing myself in the shoes of the organic farmers in this suit. Good luck coming back to the CAFC if you were Monsanto.

These plaintiffs would have to admit that they have more than a trace contamination (which would be a suicide mission - business wise).

But that notwithstanding, the estoppel is as I indicate: vapor thin.

If Monsanto really wanted this to be as over as you would indicate, then they would have simply provided a covenant not to sue.

Can you give me a plausible reason why they did not take the simple and straightforward route?

A plausible reason...?

Me, I a remain...

Sad to see, the world's most evil company (Monsanto) thriving :(

Skeptical: "If Monsanto really wanted this to be as over"

With respect to infringement of Monsanto's patents by trace amounts of contamination, it is over. Those people do not have standing to sue Monsanto and Monsanto will never be able to successfully sue them for infringement. Both parties could ignore reality and try to file suit, of course. That's a possibility even if Monsanto signs some "covenant not to sue."

"Can you give me a plausible reason why they did not take the simple and straightforward route?"

Sure. Monsanto wanted to win this case on the merits and enjoyed watching its detractors waste their money.

Sorry Raymond,

That is not a plausible reason. It does not address the word games played by Monsanto in the case, nor does it address the actual vapor-thin estoppel that is present.

And please, keep in mind that this is NOT a discussion of whether Monsanto would in fact go after the same people again - this is much moreso a LEGAL point of order.

If you want to delude yourself in thinking that some (any) substantial estoppel effect has been generated, you need to realize the word games that Monsanto used (and did not waiver from - including ESPECIALLY in their reasoning that they saw no cause of action - as that foundational element is removed by the decision itself.


The reason for the non-committal language is that Monsanto wanted flexibility for the "just-in-case" possibility that the organic growers accumulated "greater than trace amounts of modified seed by using or selling contaminated seed from his fields."

this is a very subjective standard and you appear to assume that organic growers activity remains the same across all organic growers now and forever in the future.

The comments to this entry are closed.

December 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30