The Court of Justice limits DNA protection to performing its function, by Paul England, Simmons & Simmons
The decision of the Court of Justice
In its first decision on the infringement provisions of the Biotechnology Directive, the Court of Justice (CJ) (formerly the European Court of Justice) gave its judgment in the case of Monsanto Technology v Cefetra on 6th July 2010. It has followed the earlier Opinion of Advocate General Mengozzi (9 March 2010) by holding that Article 9 of Directive 98/44/EC does not confer protection on a patented DNA sequence when it is contained in soy meal, where it does not perform the function for which it was patented. This is regardless of the fact that it did perform that function previously in the soy plant, of which the meal is a processed product, and that the DNA could again perform its function after extraction from the soy meal and insertion into the cell of a living organism.