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Context of 'May 8, 2003: Canada’s Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Percy Schmeiser’s Appeal'

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Mike Robinson, owner of a private investigation company that works for Monsanto, visits Percy Schmeiser at his farm. Schmeiser learns that Monsanto is investigating him and that an investigator working for Robinson took plant samples from his fields in 1997 (see August 18, 1997). Robinson says Monsanto suspects Schmeiser is illegally growing its patent-protected Roundup Ready Canola. Schmeiser accuses Robinson’s company of trespassing. [Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 6/14/2000; Federal Court of Canada, 6/22/2000, pp. 21 pdf file; Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Percy Schmeiser, 3/29/2001, pp. 21 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Mike Robinson, Percy Schmeiser

Timeline Tags: Seeds

Monsanto employee Robert Chomyn requests and receives a sample of Percy Schmeiser’s harvested seeds from the Humboldt Flour Mills where Schmeiser brought his seeds for inoculation (see April 24, 1998). [Washington Post, 5/2/1999] The person who retrieves the sample is employee Morris Hofmann, who, according to Schmeiser, later admits (see After June 19, 2000) that he had either not supplied the seed, or that he supplied seed that was not Schmeiser’s. [Crop Choice, 5/24/2002] The samples provided to Monsanto have apparently been cleaned. (Schmeiser will later testify in court that the seeds he brought in for inoculation were bin-run seed, and thus full of chaff.) [Federal Court of Canada, 6/22/2000, pp. 19 pdf file] Chomyn sends the seeds on April 28 to Aaron Mitchell, Monsanto’s lead investigator in the case against Schmeiser. [Washington Post, 5/2/1999] Percy Schmeiser is neither consulted beforehand nor informed of the event until 1999. [Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Percy Schmeiser, 3/29/2001, pp. 22 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Aaron Mitchell, Percy Schmeiser, Rob Chomyn, Humboldt Flour Mills

Timeline Tags: Seeds

Percy Schmeiser announces that he will appeal Federal Judge Andrew MacKay’s ruling (see March 29, 2001) that he infringed on Monsanto’s patent for Roundup Ready Canola . [Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 5/25/2001; Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 6/21/2001]

Entity Tags: Percy Schmeiser

Timeline Tags: Seeds

Federal Court of Canada Justice Andrew MacKay orders Percy Schmeiser to pay Monsanto $153,000 CAD in order to compensate the company for a portion of its legal costs. Monsanto sued Schmeiser in 2000 (see June 5, 2000-June 21, 2000) for illegally planting and harvesting canola in 1998 that he “knew or ought to have known” contained Monsanto’s patent-protected Roundup-resistant gene. This sum of money is in addition to the $19,832 CAD that Schmeiser has already been ordered to pay the company (see May 23, 2001). [Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 4/29/2002]

Entity Tags: Monsanto, Percy Schmeiser, Terry Zakreski

Timeline Tags: Seeds

A Canadian Federal Appeals Court upholds Judge Andrew MacKay’s 2001 ruling that Percy Schmeiser infringed on Monsanto’s patent for Roundup Ready Canola when he planted seed in 1998 that he “knew or ought to have known” was resistant to Roundup. The three-judge panel dismisses 16 of Schmeiser’s 17 grounds of appeal in the case. The one point they accept is that MacKay erred when he stated that there was “no evidence” that the canola seed Schmeiser used in his 1997 canola crop included genetically modified seed and pollen carried into field #6 from a neighbor’s field. However this judgment is inconsequential since the judges agree with MacKay that the question of how Monsanto’s gene came to be present in Schmeiser’s 1998 crop is not relevant to the issue of infringement. The court also concurs with MacKay that Schmeiser infringed on the patent even though he did not use Roundup on his 1998 crop. The judges agree that the mere presence of the gene in Schmeiser’s crop was in and of itself an infringement. Additionally, they uphold MacKay’s decision to admit and consider test results indicating the presence of Monsanto’s patented gene in samples taken from Schmeiser’s 1997 and 1998 crop. Schmeiser’s lawyer had argued that the results were invalid because the samples were not obtained, stored, or tested in a scientific manner or by independent parties. He had also raised several questions that challenged the authenticity of the samples. Finally, the judges say in their decision that the amount awarded to Monsanto by MacKay was an accurate accounting of Schmeiser’s profit from the sale of his 1998 crop, rejecting Monsanto’s bid to increase the award to $105,935 CAD. [Percy Schmeiser v. Monsanto Canada Inc., 9/4/2002; Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 9/6/2002] Upon learning of the appellate court’s decision, Percy Schmeiser says he will try to have his case heard before the Supreme Court of Canada. [Canadian Press, 9/6/2002; Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 9/7/2002]

Entity Tags: Percy Schmeiser, Monsanto

Timeline Tags: Seeds

Canada’s Supreme Court agrees to hear Percy Schmeiser’s appeal of a 2002 appellate court decision (see September 6, 2002) that he infringed on Monsanto’s rights as a patentholder when he planted and harvested canola in 1998 that he “knew or ought to have known” contained the company’s Roundup-resistant gene. [Canadian Press, 5/8/2003; Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), 5/9/2003]

Entity Tags: Percy Schmeiser, Monsanto

Timeline Tags: Seeds


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