Category Archives: Plant Variety Protection

Overlaps in IP Patent Plant Variety Protection

Delhi High Court’s Judgment in Monsanto v. Nuziveedu Delivers a Deadly Blow to the Agro-biotech Industry


A Division Bench of the Delhi High Court recently pronounced its judgment in the long running litigation between Monsanto and Nuziveedu. The present judgment was delivered in cross appeals filed by both parties against the order of a single judge of the Delhi High Court that was delivered last year. To describe the judgment briefly, the court has delivered a knock-out punch to Monsanto, by declaring invalid its patent for Bt. Technology because Section 3(j) of the Patents Act prohibited…


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Biological Diversity Patent Plant Variety Protection

Pest Policy: Confusion, Capture or a Fetish for the Foreign?


Policy-making is curious business. Particularly when it comes to technology. How else does one explain the following conundrum confronting our agro-biotech landscape? One the one had, the government appears more or less convinced that BT cotton (patented technology belonging to Monsanto) has developed pest resistance (against the pink Bollworm) and does not work anymore. And yet on the other, it wants this patented technology to disseminate widely in a cheaper and more accessible manner to the poor farmer. Forcing one…


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Plant Variety Protection

Supreme Court Stays Delhi High Court Judgment Striking Down Sec. 24(5) of Plant Varieties Act


Last December, I had covered a judgment delivered by a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court striking down Section 24(5) of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (PPVFRA). This provision empowers the registrar of plant varieties to issue interim directions to prevent abusive conduct by third parties during the period between the filing of an application for the registration of a plant variety and the making of a final decision as regards the grant of registration….


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

NOC requirement for registering or releasing new plant varieties scrapped


As per a recent report in the Financial Express by Vivian Fernandes, the PPVFR Authority, constituted under the Protection of Plant Variety & Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001 has finally done away with a long-standing requirement of producing a ‘No-Objection-Certificate’ (NOC) from the patentee of a particular GM trait that is used by a breeder while developing a new plant variety and which variety he seeks to register under the PVPFRA. Since the interplay of these rights is slightly confusing, let…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

Intervention by Addl. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in Monsanto-Nuziveedu appeal raises questions of propriety


Vivian Fernandes of Smart Agriculture has brought to light a recent development in the ongoing litigation between Monsanto and Nuziveedu. As we reported earlier, Monsanto sued Nuziveedu for patent and trademark infringement before the Delhi High Court. A Single Judge of the high Court declined to grant an interim injunction and the matter was appealed to a Division Bench of the High Court. As per Fernandes, during the hearings, the Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta “wanted to make a voluminous…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

The RSS involvement in the Monsanto-Nuziveedu dispute and a reticent Bloomberg-Quint editor


In a special investigative report published on March 28, 2017 Reuters revealed the role being played by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in the IP dispute between Monsanto and Nuziveedu. For readers not familiar with the RSS, it is the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Although the RSS claims that it is only a “cultural” body not involved in politics, there is little doubt that the BJP or the Prime Minister (who was a member of the…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

Monsanto vs. Indian Seed Companies: Enforcement of Rejected Patent Claims?


We are pleased to bring to you a guest post by Mr. Essenese Obhan. Mr. Obhan is the Managing Partner of Obhan & Associates, a reputed IP law firm in Delhi. We had earlier published two guest posts by him here and here. Monsanto vs. Indian Seed Companies: Enforcement of Rejected Patent Claims? Essense Obhan As has already been reported on SpicyIP and the mainstream media, Monsanto and Indian seed companies are involved in a series of lawsuits against each other…


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Patent Plant Variety Protection

The Plant Variety Authority and Bt Cotton: A Case of Regulatory Capture?


We are happy to bring to you a guest post by Mr. Essenese Obhan. Mr. Obhan is the Managing Partner of Obhan & Associates, a reputed IP law firm in Delhi. He has both a law and an engineering degree, and has been consistently ranked by multiple international agencies as one of India’s leading patent attorneys. He has extensive expertise in the mechanical, industrial, software, telecoms and agriculture sectors. He is involved in drafting and prosecuting patents, as also in…


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Plant Variety Protection

In a Well Reasoned Judgment, Delhi High Court Strikes Down Section 24(5) of Plant Varieties Act


In a significant judgment delivered earlier this month, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court struck down Section 24(5) of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (“PPVFRA”) on the ground that it gives uncanalized power to the Registrar of Plant Varieties to grant interim relief to a breeder whose application for the registration of a plant variety is under consideration. Authored by Justice Ravindra Bhat, the judgment stands out for the Court’s lucid articulation of the…


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Biological Diversity Geographical Indication Plant Variety Protection Traditional Knowledge

Rice & IP: The ongoing Basmati imbroglio, the ‘Green Rice’ mystery & the IR8 celebrations


Over the last year with the Monsanto-Nuziveedu dispute, India has witnessed one of its biggest IP disputes in the agricultural sector. The Basmati GI dispute also has huge implication but as I’m reminded, often, by several people, geographical indications (GI) do not qualify as IP. These disputes aside, we’ve also come across two other very interesting cases of green rice and IR8 celebrations. Basmati rice – When did geography become an issue? As we’ve written earlier on SpicyIP, there is…


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