International Patent Dispute Settled

Bayer CropScience, Max Plank Society and Monsanto reach agreement that allows scientists to transfer DNA to plant cells. Compiled by staff

Published on: Feb 4, 2005

Bayer CropScience, based in Monheim, the Max Planck Society and their affiliate Garching Innovation GmbH, both based in Munich, and Monsanto Company announced Friday that they have reached an agreement that resolves long-standing patent interference or other proceedings in different countries involving the use of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to create transgenic crops. Agrobacterium transformation technology allows scientists to transfer DNA to plant cells.

Under the agreement, Max Planck Society, Bayer CropScience, Garching Innovation, and Monsanto will cross license their respective Agrobacterium-mediated transformation technologies worldwide. Bayer CropScience, Max Planck’s exclusive licensee, and Monsanto will provide each other, in selected areas of the world, non-exclusive licenses related to the development, use and sale of transgenic crops. Monsanto will also provide Max Planck Society with a license in the United States for research purposes.

"This agreement secures freedom for the involved parties in the field of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation technology, thereby ensuring present and future market access for their respective technologies in the United States and Canada," says Dr. Bernward Garthoff, member of the Bayer CropScience Board of Management, responsible for R&D.

"This is a positive development for agricultural biotechnology as a whole," says Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto. "Through the agreement, the parties recognize the global contributions of the Max Planck and Monsanto scientists who invented this technology. This agreement enables their respective agricultural innovations to reach consumers and farmers without hindrance."