Federal Court Jury finds DuPont and DuPont Pioneer must pay
Aug 1, 2012
ST. LOUIS, Aug. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/
-- Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) today won a patent
infringement trial in the U.S. District Court against
DuPont Pioneer, formally Pioneer Hi-Bred International,
Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of E. I. du Pont de
Nemours and Company (DuPont). The trial had centered on
DuPont's unauthorized use of Monsanto's patented
Roundup Ready® technology.
In rendering its verdict, the federal jury found that
DuPont (NYSE: DD) and DuPont Pioneer had willfully
infringed Monsanto's patented Roundup Ready®
technology when it tried to patch the problems with
DuPont's own Optimum® GAT® (OGAT) technology that had
failed in earlier development. The jury awarded damages
of $1 billion to Monsanto based on DuPont's willful
infringement of its technology and the improper head
start that DuPont obtained when it infringed
Monsanto's technology rights. The finding of willful
infringement could lead to an increased award of damages
in the case.
"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 David Snively, Monsanto's
Executive Vice President and General Counsel. "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."
"The materials uncovered from DuPont files during
this case highlight that DuPont's senior leaders were
actively working to hide the fact their OGAT technology
had failed and were using elaborate schemes to cover that
up with the unlicensed use of our technology,"
Snively added. "They knew the OGAT technology
didn't work for years, but opted to tell a much
different story to their customers and to Wall Street. It
is deeply disappointing that repeated requests to
DuPont's leadership and board to investigate their
own internal actions were not addressed and corrected,
which ultimately required the matter go to trial."
Monsanto's Roundup Ready technology was first
commercially introduced to U.S. soybean farmers in 1996.
Today, Monsanto broadly licenses Roundup Ready technology
to alfalfa, corn, cotton, soybean, spring canola, sugar
beet and winter canola farmers. Since its introduction,
Roundup Ready technology has allowed farmers to better
manage weeds, reduce the use of agricultural inputs,
improve tillage practices, and save on fuel and time.
Monsanto originally filed suit against DuPont and DuPont
Pioneer in May 2009. The lawsuit sought to prevent the
unlicensed combination of Monsanto's proprietary
Roundup Ready herbicide tolerant technologies in soybeans
and corn with DuPont's problem plagued OGAT. DuPont
had been offered a license at multiple times prior to and
throughout the duration of the trial, but the
Delaware-based company refused to accept the offer from
Today's verdict represents the third time that court
proceedings have determined that DuPont or DuPont Pioneer
has violated a trait licensing agreement with Monsanto.
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of
technology-based solutions and agricultural products that
improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto
remains focused on enabling both small-holder and
large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while
conserving more of our world's natural resources such
as water and energy. To learn more about our business and
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Editor's Note: Roundup Ready is a trademark of
Monsanto Technology LLC. Optimum® and GAT® are registered
trademarks of DuPont Pioneer.