Media for Bowman v. MonsantoAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - February 19, 2013 in Bowman v. Monsanto
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - May 13, 2013 in Bowman v. Monsanto
Here, Bowman bought soybeans, most of which contained Monsanto's invention.
He planted those beans, he applied glyphosate to the plants killing any that did not contain Monsanto's invention, and then he harvested the resulting Roundup Ready soybeans ending up with many, many more of those patented beans than he started with.
That is how you make new copies of a patented item when that item is a seed.
And so the exhaustion doctrine does not shield Bowman's activity.
If the rule were otherwise patents on seeds would be largely worthless because as soon as the first few seeds were sold, anyone else could reproduce and sell them.
Accordingly, we affirm the Federal Circuit, our opinion is unanimous.