* Soybean farmer accused of infringing Monsanto patents
* Supreme Court accepts seven cases for review
(Adds details on Monsanto case, other cases accepted forreview)
By Jonathan Stempel and Terry Baynes
Oct 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday toconsider an Indiana soybean farmer's appeal of an appellatecourt decision that he infringed Monsanto Co patentsov e r seeds that can be replicated.
The case is one of seven that the highest U.S. courtdecided on Friday to review, with oral arguments likely to bescheduled for January or February of 2013.
Monsanto, the world's largest seed company, has a reputationfor zealously defending patents on its genetically alteredcrops, including Roundup Ready soybeans, corn and cotton.
From 1997 to April 2010, the company filed 144 patentinfringement lawsuits against farmers, who like the seedsbecause of their ability to withstand herbicide treatments.
Monsanto would prefer that farmers buygenetically modified seeds each year.
In the case accepted for review, Vernon Bowman was appealinga September 2011 decision by the U.S. Federal Circuit Court ofAppeals in Washington that upheld an $84,456 damages award forMonsanto.
The St. Louis-based company had said Bowman was growing moresoybeans than his purchases of seeds containing Roundup Readytechnology could generate.
Bowman countered that he bought the seeds as part of anundifferentiated mix of "commodity" seeds, and that farmers hadused such seeds for planting, and created "second-generation"seeds, for decades.
In his appeal, Bowman said the Federal Circuit erred inforbidding his use of the seeds for a natural and foreseeablepurpose: pl anting. He said earlier court decisions suggestedMonsanto had no rights after it made an initial sale.
Monsanto shares closed on Friday up 52 cents at $91.16 onthe New York Stock Exchange.
The case is Bowman v. Monsanto Co et al, No. 11-796. FCC CASE, FACT-FINDING BY JUDGES
The Supreme Court also agreed to consider how much deferenceto give federal agencies in setting their own jurisdictions, intwo combined cases that could affect the ability to deploywireless telephone services nationwide.
At issue is the ability of the Federal CommunicationsCommission to step in and help further the placement of wirelesscommunications facilities when state and local governmentsfailed to act on tower-siting applications fast enough.
Cities including Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Arlington,Texas, as well as the New Orleans City Council, said thatinterfered with their power to enforce local zoning standards.
The cases are City of Arlington et al v. U.S., No. 11-1545;and Cable, Telecommunications, and Technology Committee of theNew Orleans City Council v. FCC, No. 11-1547.
Other cases that were accepted are:
- Alleyne v. U.S., No. 11-9335: Whether the court shouldoverrule a 2002 precedent and require a jury, rather than ajudge, to find facts allowing an increase in a mandatory minimumcriminal sentence.
- Boyer v. Louisiana, No. 11-9953: Whether a state's failureto pay for a defendant's lawyer, resulting from a decision toseek the death penalty, should be held against the state indeciding whether the defendant's right to a speedy trial wasviolated.
- Gunn v. Minton, No. 11-1118: Whether a software developerwho lost a patent infringement case against Nasdaq could sue hislawyers for malpractice in a Texas state court, or whether thecase belonged in federal court because it involved patent law.
- Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management, No. 11-1447:Whether a municipal entity's refusal to award a permit todevelop land unless the owner also agreed to help preserveFlorida wetlands was a "taking" that required compensation.
- McBurney et al v. Young et al, No. 12-17: Whether a statecan give out-of-state residents a lesser right of access toreview public records than it gives its own citizens.
Decisions in the cases are expected by the end of June.(Editing by Peter Cooney)
Keywords: USA COURT/