Sunday, February 10, 2013

Legal Issues in Agricultural & Food Law: Biotechnology

This week, Mark Henry, an experienced patent attorney and adjunct professor will deliver the first lecture in our unit on Agricultural Biotechnology in our Legal Issues in Agricultural & Food Law.  Professor Henry has taught Agricultural Biotechnology for us in the past, and we are delighted to have him back in the classroom. The class will focus on the development of intellectual property law as applied to genetic engineering, covering the three foundational cases, Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303 (1980); J.E.M. Ag Supply, Inc. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. 534 U.S. 124 (2001); and Monsanto v. David, 516 F.3d 1009 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

Next week, we will read about and listen to the oral arguments in the Bowman v. Monsanto case that is before the Supreme Court. The case will be argued on February 19.  The briefs are all available on the SCOTUS blog and an audio recording of the oral arguments are available on the Friday after the hearing on the U.S. Supreme Court website.  The case has generated much interest and has been reported in the news nationally and internationally.  See, e.g., Farmer’s Use of Genetically Modified Soybeans Grows into Supreme Court Case, in the Washington Post and Indiana Soybean Farmer Sees Monsanto Lawsuit Reach US Supreme Court in the Guardian.

On February 27th, Professor Henry will come back to discuss the case with us.  And, for a follow up discussion, we will talk with Professor Bryan Endres from the University of Illinois.  Professor Endres has tracked agricultural biotechnology issues for some time and will present on his recent article, An Evolutionary Approach to Agricultural Biotechnology: Litigation Challenges to the Regulatory and Common Law Regimes for Genetically Engineered Plants, 4 Northeastern Univ. L.J. (forthcoming 2011).

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