Boing Boing: Monsanto stole patented wheat from Indian farmers:
Cory Doctorow: Monsanto had taken out a patent for a “genetically modified” strain of wheat. Today, they lost that patent in Europe, after Greenpeace proved that the wheat in question had in fact been selectively bred by Indian farmers and had not emerged from Monsanto's labs.
The European Patent office in Munich had granted a patent to Monsanto on May 21, 2003. The patent covered wheat exhibiting a special baking quality that Monsanto claimed to be its invention.
However, Greenpeace proved in its opposition that the wheat variety was bred by Indian farmers for improving its baking quality and it was not a genetically-engineered invention as claimed by Monsanto.
I hope this sort of theft of intellectual property is a criminal offense in the EU.
Yo Michael – This is astounding news and I guess we are early in recognizing. Greenpeace by Praised.
Is it possible that Monsanto would be vulnerable to criminal prosecution in the US for fraud? Theft of Intellectual material? Creating a false document? Abuse of governmental process?
Sure, professor, patent fraud has civil and criminal penalties available in the EU, though from what I’ve read not in any permanent sense. But after the Munich courts waited 9 years to hear the claims against Monsanto’s patent on the friggin soybean, and then let them keep it, I wouldn’t expect a miracle. Fact is, this isn’t the first time they’ve gone to great lengths to achieve hook or crook monopoly, and they have good historical evidence to suggest they’re not getting in much trouble for it…