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Monsanto wins backing of top India court in cotton seed patent case

The Supreme Court of India overturned the ruling of a lower court and allowed Bayer AG unit Monsanto Co. to claim patent rights for its genetically modified cotton seeds, Reuters reported.

The Delhi High Court had ruled in favor of Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd., which claims that India's Patent Act prohibits any patent cover to Monsanto for its genetically modified seeds.

In response to the appeal filed by Monsanto, the Supreme Court directed the Delhi High Court to examine Monsanto's patent infringement claims against Nuziveedu Seeds.

Monsanto, which sells the lab-altered crop seeds in India through its joint venture with local company Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co., terminated its license agreement with Nuziveedu Seeds in November 2015 in a dispute over royalty payment and seed technology.

In August 2016, Monsanto withdrew a cotton seed approval application in India due to disputes with the Indian government over royalty rates and seed prices, Reuters noted.