Monsanto Sues Pioneer Over ‘Seed Chipper’

Coeur-based biotechnology giant, Monsanto Co., is suing rival Pioneer Hi-Bred, accusing the company of patent infringement on its “seed chipper” technology.

The lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in St. Louis accuses Iowa-based Pioneer, owned be E.I. Du Pont Nemours and Co., of making its own form of the seed chipper, calling it “Laser-Assisted Seed Selection.”

Monsanto’s seed chipper is a high through-put device that allows the researchers to derive genetic information from a seed without destroying the whole seed, speeding up the selection of desirable plant traits. Monsanto holds 12 patents on the technology.

In the suit, the company alleges that Pioneer essentially copied the technology, filing its own patent within months of Monsanto’s own patent application filings.

Monsanto is asking the court to force Pioneer to stop using the technology and selling any products developed through it.

A DuPont spokesperson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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