DuPont, Monsanto settle technology lawsuit with $1.75bn deal

26 March 2013 19:05  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Engaged in a legal fight for several years over allegations that DuPont violated Monsanto’s corn and soybean technology patents, the two companies announced on Tuesday they have settled their lawsuit with DuPont agreeing to $1.75bn (€1.37bn) in future payments.

Both companies have formalised an agreement on technology licensing that will allow DuPont’s subsidiary seed company, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, to use Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide tolerant traits in future seed varieties.

Last August, a US district court jury awarded Monsanto $1bn after ruling that DuPont had violated the licensing for use of the Roundup Ready trait. Countering the accusations, DuPont had filed a suit alleging anti-competitive behaviour.

With the settlement being finalised, both companies are rescinding their claims of patent and antitrust violations against one another.

In addition to the financial resolution, DuPont will receive the regulatory data rights for the traits enabling it to create an array of stacked trait combinations. Monsanto will receive access to disease resistance and corn defoliation patents developed by DuPont.

“This technology exchange helps both companies expand the range of innovative solutions we can offer farmers and to do so faster than either of us could alone,” said Paul E. Schickler, DuPont president. “The agreements broaden the Pioneer soybean line-up. Importantly they give us greater flexibility in developing combinations of genetics and traits to help feed an increasingly crowded plant.”

The Roundup Ready herbicide element has been a major transformation for agricultural producers over the last decade, especially in the southern US, in that it allows crops planted with the tolerant trait to be sprayed using Roundup, or glyphosate-based, herbicide on a wide array of crops including corn, soybeans and cotton.

This has allowed farmers to save money in inputs, primarily chemical applications and fuel, while maintaining fields that are free from a variety of weed and grass varieties, which left uncontrolled, can eventually rob crops of available moisture and hinder optimum growth patterns.

“We’ve always agreed that technological innovation and farmer choice are essential to agriculture,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto president. “This signals a new approach to our companies doing business together, allowing two of the leaders in the industry to focus on bringing farmers the best products possible while working to advance innovation and long-term opportunity for agriculture.”

($1 = €0.78)


By: Mark Milam



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