New Delhi, May 7 : The Supreme Court on Monday asked an Indian company to respond to Monsanto's plea challenging a Delhi High Court verdict holding that the American firm cannot claim a patent on its genetically modified (GM) cotton seeds.
Issuing the notice to Indian company Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd, a bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said it would issue common notice and posted the matter for a preliminary hearing on July 18.
Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Monsanto, said it would continue to supply the Indian company but sought a stay on the high court order.
The apex court, however, refused to interfere with the high court order at this stage.
The Delhi High Court on April 11 held that Monsanto cannot claim patents on its GM cotton seeds in India.
The Sub-Section (j) of Section 3 of the Indian Patent Act, 1970, says that "plants and animals in whole or any part thereof other than micro organisms but including seeds, varieties and species and essentially biological processes for production or propagation of plants and animals" are not invention and as a corollary can't be patented.
The Section 3 of the Act spells out "what are not inventions".