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André Roef

Head of Law, Patents & Compliance Seeds, Bayer Crop Science

Expert Bio

André is Bayer¹s Head of Law, Patents and Compliance for the Seeds business and he is based in Ghent, Belgium. He is well-informed on all legal matters pertaining to the global seeds business and has been involved in many transactions pertaining to Bayer¹s and its predecessor¹s seed business. His mother tongue is Dutch, he speaks French, English and German fluently and has published many papers. His degrees are in Human Ecology, Criminology and Law from the universities of Brussels and Ghent.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: You say that your companies are helping farmers with your GMO seeds, however everyday in the news there is court cases of the big corporations suing small family owned farmers for patent infringement. How is that helping farmers? Or suing because a farmer

Answered By André Roef - Aug 28, 2013

A: Thank you for this question. Biotech companies are indeed helping farmers by providing them with seeds and technologies, which will enable them to generate higher yields for their crops (e.g., protection against weeds, insects and diseases and tolerance to extreme conditions like drought, heat and salinity). In regard to your question about farmers being sued for patent infringement, legal claims have been pursued only against farmers who are believed to have intentionally infringed on intellectual property rights of a biotech company. [...]

Business Practices GMOs & Farmers


Q: From all the corporations combined including Monsanto how many law suits has there been on rural farmers? What exactly is the most common reason for the litigation?

Answered By André Roef - Aug 16, 2013

A: Lawsuits generated by biotech companies against farmers mostly center around patent protection issues. Patents are sought to protect intellectual property rights and are a compensation for the investments in time, work and resources to develop new technologies. Patents, in addition to plant protection certificates,  have been available on seeds and plants in certain countries, such as the United States and Australia, provided that the legal criteria for patentability are met.  Biotech companies sometimes file suit against farmers who intentionally breach their contracts and infringe [...]

Business Practices GMOs & Farmers