UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


The proliferation of genetically modified (“GM”) crops in the United States has dramatically increased in the past two decades. This increase has led to fears of dwindling biodiversity in this country’s staple crops. Consumer health and environmental advocates have attempted to slow the deregulation of such crops through administrative challenges. Such tactics were largely undermined in the 2010 Supreme Court case of Monsanto Co. v. Geertson. Anti-GM groups have subsequently attempted to invalidate patents for GM crops on moral grounds. This comment explores the futility of administrative and moral challenges to GM crop proliferation, and looks ahead to the proper legal vehicle for actual contamination. Further, this comment proposes the use of punitive damages to provide adequate market incentive for patent holders of genetically modified crops to control unwanted contamination.