ST. LOUIS — The Monsanto Company has filed suit in federal court in St. Louis against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., to prevent unlawful use of Monsanto’s proprietary Roundup Ready(R) herbicide tolerant technologies in soybeans and corn.
“As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO. “However, unlawfully taking technology is neither imitation nor flattery; it is unethical and wrong. A true technology company respects patents and its contractual agreements and delivers new products through its own innovation and honest collaboration. DuPont has failed on all counts.”
Pioneer, like hundreds of other seed companies, has the right to sell soybeans and corn with the Roundup Ready trait. For several years, Pioneer publicly touted plans to replace Monsanto’s Roundup Ready trait with DuPont’s claimed glyphosate tolerant Optimum(R) GAT(R) trait.
However, Pioneer has recently admitted that the Optimum GAT trait when used alone presents unacceptable risks to farmers.
In an effort to repair these deficiencies, Pioneer is misusing the Roundup Ready trait to mask problems with their Optimum GAT trait. This violates Monsanto’s contract rights and U.S. patents.
This suit insists that DuPont honor their agreements and respect patented technologies. This is not the first time that Monsanto has had to file litigation against Pioneer for breaches of their contractual obligations with Monsanto.
Not the first time
In a previous case involving Monsanto’s YieldGard(R) Corn Borer trait, it was determined by the Court that Pioneer had breached its license and improperly used Monsanto’s patented technology.
After that case, in which Monsanto prevailed, an agreement was reached in which Pioneer was able to continue licensed use of Monsanto’s technology.