Jury decides DuPont infringed on Monsanto patent

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, August 2, 2012- A United States District Court in St. Louis, Missouri decided Wednesday that DuPont Pioneer owes Monsanto $1 billion for patent infringement.

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Monsanto sued DuPont and its Iowa-based Pioneer seed division in 2009, claiming the company violated Monsanto's patent on Roundup Ready soybean technology by combining it with its own technology. The jury found that DuPont Pioneer willfully infringed Monsanto's patented Roundup Ready technology when it combined it with DuPont's Optimum GAT (OGAT) technology.

"Importantly, this verdict highlights that all companies that make early and substantial investments in developing cutting edge technology will  have their intellectual property rights upheld and fairly valued," said Monsanto's Executive Vice President and General Counsel David Snively in a statement. "This verdict also underscores that DuPont's unauthorized use of the Roundup Ready technology was both deliberate and aimed at rescuing its own failed technology."

DuPont said it will appeal the decision. DuPont Senior Vice President and General Counsel Thomas L. Sager claimed Monsanto intentionally deceived the U.S. government as it sought patent protection.

“Further, DuPont believes that the damages awarded of $1 billion are unjustified, particularly considering that Pioneer has never sold a single Optimum GAT seed and has no plans to do so in the future,” Sager said. “DuPont's license to sell Roundup Ready soybeans remains in place and is not impacted by this verdict.”

DuPont's statement also maintained that “several aspects of Monsanto's misconduct involving this patent, which were not tried in this case, will be presented to a different jury as part of DuPont's antitrust and patent misuse case against Monsanto in September 2013.”

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