In a news article published in Brazil's O Estado de S. Paulo over the weekend, a competitor of Monsanto and a representative of the Brazilian Industrial Property Office called into question a specific article of the patent law which determines the length of time for which a company receives protection under Brazil patent law.
In response to report in the Brazilian media, Monsanto Company states that it has multiple patents on its Roundup Ready soybean technology and it is taking steps to have these patents clarified through the Brazilian patent law system.
Monsanto believes that the law is clear that one of the company's Roundup Ready soybean patents has patent protection until August 2007. In fact, Monsanto has already been granted an injunction regarding the interpretation of this patent which allows the company to continue to collect royalties on its Roundup Ready soybean technology.
Under the pipeline patent treatment of Brazil's Industrial Property Law, Monsanto's additional patents on the Roundup Ready soybean technology are valid through June 2011. The company is currently taking action to affirm the expiration dates of these patents, just as many other companies have successfully done since Brazil's patent laws were modernized.
Monsanto and its seed partners continue to amicably negotiate an appropriate method for charging royalties.