Patenting life: crossing the threshold?


 by: S.D. Fields (c)copyright 2010 All rights reserved


“The trucker knew he was a target. Operating on the Interstate to perform a delivery was a risky move because he had no licensing agreement for authority. The dirt roads weren’t efficient enough and  sooner or later he had to surface to cross a major river to access state lines. Always looking in the mirror was tiresome, so maybe driving at night would provide some cover. Who should worry? What he was doing was not against the law, but thousands of snitches were willing to call a hot line to turn him in. He hated driving through St. Louis anyway, it was the home of the Gateway Mafia.

Bureaucrats in Washington had allowed a firm named M-satan Movers to paint the center line with their patented paint. Congress never approved it, but a judge with former employment credentials of M-satan Movers ruled it was legal. This center line provided certain features that M-satan Movers claimed was revolutionary.

The trucking firm only had one rig. M-satan Movers had 50,000.  Since MM had the patent on this new paint they were allowed to pick & choose who got to drive on the hi-way system. Competitors dropped like flies in freezing weather. The injustice of the issue is the fact that all trucking firms were made to help maintain the hi-way infrastructure with their taxes; but many now couldn’t access it without permission from a major competitor. Very expensive licensing agreements were required; exposing all customer records. Fuel tickets & log books also were demanded. Those who chose to sell their soul to M-satan, soon found themselves in trouble because it was impossible to cross the financial threshold & constant demands of MM. When these firms couldn’t make ends meet, M-satan Movers consumed them in a leveraged takeover.

Although this is an analogy, the same level of redundant behavior is occurring in the seed industry.  Monsanto’s Round-up Ready is nothing more than a chemical event piggybacked onto the public’s genetic infrastructure.  The seed is used as a vehicle for delivery.  Since only so much infrastructure, exists, controlling a massive segment gives a fantastic amount of leverage to a single company.”


How could this happen? There is catastrophic ignorance from our legal system when applying patent law to life. Assuming genetics are stable enough to continue indefinitely is equivalent to assuming a farmer is going to get the same amount of rainfall every year, exactly when they need it.

These genetics are a parallel to our hi-way system.  Layers of publicly funded research and development have expanded the various corridors for the public to access and spur economic growth.  The same taxation without benefit is occurring also.  Public universities are patenting publicly funded research and allowing single seed companies to claim it as their own. More

DOJ Gets Serious About Antitrust, Targeting Dean Foods and Monsanto

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By Katherine Glover | Jan 27, 2010

Katherine Glover is a Minneapolis-based print, radio and online journalist. She’s written for Salon.com, Sierra Magazine and many others, and she does a weekly blog on immigration issues for MinnPost.

The Department of Justice has formalized its investigation of Monsanto and filed a lawsuit against Dean Foods, confirming rumors that the DOJ would be more vigilant on antitrust issues under the Obama Administration.

The Justice Department seeks to undo Dean’s acquisition of two Wisconsin dairy companies, alleging that the deal was a way to reduce competition and raise prices. This legal action is “highly unusual” according to one dairy analyst; “this is the first bark we’ve heard from the antitrust division on food issues in a very long time.” The Bush Administration did not file a single major anti-monopoly case, according to the Washington Post.

The latest Monsanto investigation is about whether Monsanto will continue to produce its current Roundup Ready soybean seeds after the patent expires in 2014, or whether it will simply swap in a new, upgraded product under a new patent so it can maintain its high prices.

This is not the first time Monsanto has been accused of monopolist tendencies; the company controls an estimated 96 percent of the U.S. soybean crop and 80 percent of its corn crop, and some have compared Monsanto to the Microsoft of earlier decades. READ MORE

 Katherine Glover

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