08 May 2003 23:27 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (CNI)--Canada’s Supreme Court announced Thursday that it will hear the case of a Saskatchewan farmer who was charged by Monsanto with breaching the company’s patents for genetically modified (GM) canola.
The Percy Schmeiser case is seen as an important patent test case for GM canola and other GM products.
Monsanto Canada’s offices in Winnipeg, Manitoba were not immediately available for comment.
A federal appeal court had found that Schmeiser, of Bruno, Saskatchewan knowingly planted Monsanto-patented GM canola in his field in violation of Monsanto’s patents.
But Schmeiser contends the GM seeds blew into his fields, either from a neighbouring farm or passing trucks
But the appeal court, upholding a lower instance decision, ruled that Schmeiser violated Monsanto's patent and he was ordered to pay Can$15 000 ($10 800/Euro 9 500) for using the seed without paying a license fee, plus more than Can$150 000 in court costs.
Schmeiser then sought leave from the Supreme Court to hear his case, which the court granted today.
The Supreme Court did not fix a hearing date.
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