The dispute centers on a trait license agreement between the two companies.
The recent Monsanto lawsuit, according to DuPont, seeks to block growers’ access to innovative new soybean lines from DuPont business Pioneer-Hi Bred. DuPont states that these soybeans would contain Pioneer’s proprietary Optimum GAT trait and — through Monsanto’s royalty-bearing license agreement — the Roundup Ready trait. Optimum GAT is DuPont’s own glyphosate- and acetolactate synthase-tolerant trait.
In its federal court filing on June 17 in St. Louis, DuPont affirmed that combining, or “stacking,” of Optimum GAT and Roundup Ready technologies is clearly within its rights under the license agreement with Monsanto. DuPont also said that patents relating to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybeans are invalid and, therefore, are not infringed when Optimum GAT and Roundup Ready traits are “stacked” in soybeans. In addition, DuPont said it is seeking broad relief under anti-trust laws that would end Monsanto’s multi-faceted, anti-competitive scheme to unlawfully restrict competition.
“We believe we have every right through our existing Monsanto license agreement to ‘stack’ our Optimum GAT trait with Pioneer soybean genetics already containing a Roundup Ready trait,” said DuPont Group Vice President James C. Borel. “We will vigorously defend our rights to bring valuable new technologies to the market.
“The seed industry, U.S. growers, and, ultimately, consumers are best served when seed companies can assemble the best combinations of traits and germplasm for their customers — without the anti-competitive restrictions imposed by Monsanto,” Borel added. “Our proprietary Optimum GAT trait combined with the Roundup Ready trait in elite Pioneer soybean genetics would be superior to any other product on the market — better yields and broader, more flexible weed control options.”
Click here for DuPont’s counterclaims.