In Bowman v. Monsanto, 133 S.Ct. 1761 (2013), the Supreme Court found that soybean farmer Vernon Bowman could be held liable for infringing the Monsanto GM seed patents. Bowman had purchased the seed from a local commodity soybean dealer and then planted them, thus making more seeds.
My question this morning is whether Bowman would have a cause of action against the soybean dealer under Section 2-312 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) for violation of the warrantee of non-infringement.
UCC 2-312(3) provides a default warranty of non-infringement. The statute (as adopted by the various states) provides that:
Unless otherwise agreed a seller who is a merchant regularly dealing in goods of the kind warrants that the goods shall be delivered free of the rightful claim of any third person by way of infringement or the like but a buyer who furnishes specifications to the seller must hold the seller harmless against any such claim which arises out of compliance with the specifications.
Assuming no disclaimer by the dealer, can Bowman shift liability back to the dealer?