Cotton fibers hang from a cotton plant on display outside a Monsanto Co. lab in St. Louis (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Monsanto Does Not Have Patent Over BT Cotton Seed Varieties, Rules Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court division bench today said that Monsanto Technologies LLC. does not have the patent for BT Cotton seed varieties ‘Bollgard’ and ‘Bollgard II’.

The court, however, has given Monsanto a three-month window to apply for registration of these seed varieties under the provisions of the Plant Varieties Act. The judgement was delivered by a bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Yogesh Khanna.

Today’s judgement comes against a challenge to the single judge bench order of the Delhi High Court delivered in March last year. In that order, the high court had held Monsanto’s decision to terminate its sub-licence agreement for genetically modified hybrid cotton seeds with Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. as prima facie illegal and arbitrary. This ruling had allowed Nuziveedu to use Monsanto’s ‘Bollgard’ and ‘Bollgard-II’ trademarks. But the court had rejected Nuziveedu’s plea that Monsanto did not have patent over the seed varieties.

Earlier this month, the division bench had stayed the operation of sub-licence agreement between Monsanto andNuziveedu until the final decision on the matter.