"We think that blame-the-bean defense tough to credit," she said. "In all this, the bean surely figured. But it was Bowman, and not the bean, who controlled the reproduction (to the eighth generation) of Monsanto's patented invention."
But Kagan also issued a measure of caution, saying this decision might not necessarily apply in other areas.
"Our holding today is limited -- addressing the situation before us, rather than every one involving a self-replicating product," she said. "We recognize that such inventions are becoming ever more prevalent, complex, and diverse."
The case is Bowman v. Monsanto Company (11-796).