Taking Monsanto to Court: Legal activism around intellectual property in Brazil and India

Abstract: This article analyzes legal disputes involving Monsanto's patents and royalties for Roundup Ready soybeans, Bt cotton and Bt eggplant in two important GM-crop producing countries. It argues that Monsanto implemented private royalty collection systems adapted to the specificities of crops and agrarian conditions in Brazil and India. The corporation thus enjoyed in practice the same extraordinary degree of IP rights in these countries as in the United States irrespective of significant differences between patent and plant variety laws of both countries and the US. NGOs and farmers' movements played a key role in drawing public attention to these issues while challenging the legality of the patents and royalty collection systems.