DuPont Sues Monsanto for Patent Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on October 24, 2011

corn-200x122Los Angeles – DuPont’s Pioneer seed unit is suing rival Monsanto for patent infringement, alleging that Monsanto infringed on patents that help genetically modified corn seeds germinate.

The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa by DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred International, claims that it is the owner of patented technology for “enhancing the vigor of maize seeds” by defoliating the plant at a particular point after pollination but before harvest, and on a maize seed and stand of maize seeds that have such enhanced vigor. The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, is just the latest round in a heated legal battle between the two companies in their quests for dominance in the U.S. corn seed industry.

According to DuPont, Monsanto has been infringing on the same technologies and methods protected by DuPont’s patents and is seeking reimbursement for any profits gained by Monsanto from the sale of any seed products manufactured with the patents. In its complaint, DuPont also claims that Monsanto’s infringement was “willful and deliberate” and is seeking damages, however a specific dollar amount for the damages was not indicated. DuPont is also seeking reimbursement of its attorney fees and a permanent injunction that will prevent Monsanto from using the patented technologies in the future.

In response to DuPont’s claims, Monsanto issued a statement calling the lawsuit “baseless” and “without merit” and said that the methods covered by the DuPont patents were not used in any of its production fields.

“This filing appears to be another in a series of frivolous claims initiated by DuPont against our business and aimed at distracting us from our mission of investing in and delivering new product offerings to farmers around the world. We will defend our business in this latest attack,” stated a Monsanto spokesperson.

No comment was available from the DuPont camp.

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