Vedder Price

Vedder Thinking | News Vedder Price Advises NYIPLA in U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief filed in Bowman v. Monsanto

Press Release

Thomas J. Kowalski, a Vedder Price Shareholder and member of the firm’s Intellectual Property group, served as counsel to the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) in a recently filed amicus curiae brief supporting Monsanto Company's position in Bowman v. Monsanto Co.

Bowman v. Monsanto Co. concerns the infringement of Monsanto patents associated with genetically engineered soybeans that tolerate glyphosate (Roundup®), a commonly used herbicide. Mr. Kowalski advised the NYIPLA in regard to its contention that the reasonable expectations of the biotechnology sector should not be frustrated by an unwarranted alteration of the long-accepted view that the production of successive generations of biological materials, including genetically modified biological materials, represents separate successive “makings” of a patented invention.

“The biotechnology sector has long relied on the plain language of the Patent Statute, the case law and the PTO Rules to form a reasonable expectation that subsequent generations of replicable biological material will remain subject to patent protection, and the industry has invested heavily in research and development based on that reasonable expectation,” said Mr. Kowalski. “My view is that the NYIPLA amicus brief demonstrates that Bowman is wrong on the law, and wrong on the science. A decision in favor of the petitioner would lead to a revolutionary change in patent law and absurd results that would thwart future research and development in self-replicating biotechnology, and have a far-reaching negative impact on biotech innovation as a whole.”

The NYIPLA is a professional association of more than 1,300 attorneys whose interests and practices lie in the area of patent, trademark, trade secret and other intellectual property law. Click here for a copy of the NYIPLA’s amicus curiae brief.


Thomas J. Kowalski