Monsanto Files Lawsuit Against DuPont, Pioneer

Charges over contract rights and patents.

Published on: May 5, 2009

On Monday, Monsanto filed a lawsuit in St. Louis against DuPont and its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred charging they are using Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybean and corn technologies in an unlawful manner.

"As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," said Hugh Grant, Monsanto Chief Executive Officer. "However, unlawfully taking technology is neither imitation nor flattery; it is unethical and wrong. A true technology company respects patents and its contractual agreements and delivers new products through its own innovation and honest collaboration. DuPont has failed on all counts."

According to Monsanto, Pioneer is misusing the Roundup Ready trait to mask problems with their Optimum GAT trait. This violates Monsanto's contract rights and U.S. patents. This suit insists that DuPont honor their agreements and respect patented technologies.

James Borel, DuPont group vice president, said the suit "incorrectly" claims that DuPont may not combine, or stack, its technology with any soybeans already containing Monsanto's Roundup Ready trait. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice required that Monsanto abandon similar stacking restrictions it imposed on its licensees as a condition to its acquisition of cotton seed company Delta & Pine Land, according to Borel.

"Monsanto has a long history of using litigation and aggressive tactics to preserve their monopoly and attempt to intimidate customers, seed partners and competitors," Borel said in a statement.