DuPont to Proceed with License, Antitrust, Patent Fraud Claims Against Monsanto

'Narrow' Interpretation Rendered on Licensing Agreement

Jan 16, 2010, 14:00 ET from DuPont

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In response to a motion filed by Monsanto in 2009, the U.S. District Court here ruled that the Roundup Ready® license agreements between DuPont and Monsanto contain an unwritten ("implied") term that prohibits DuPont (NYSE: DD) from stacking its Optimum® GAT® trait with Monsanto's Roundup Ready® trait in soybeans or corn.  Describing its ruling as "narrow," the court also emphasized that DuPont's separate antitrust and patent fraud claims were not impacted by its ruling and would, therefore, proceed.

"This litigation is just beginning; we will now vigorously pursue our antitrust, license and patent fraud claims," said DuPont Senior Vice President and General Counsel Thomas L. Sager.  "By gathering further evidence through the discovery process and proceeding quickly to trial, we will demonstrate that DuPont has the legal right to provide farmers with the best-yielding, most innovative seeds.  As the court clearly indicated, the ruling does not affect DuPont's antitrust and patent fraud claims filed against Monsanto in June 2009.  Nor does it affect the related ongoing U.S. Department of Justice formal antitrust investigation involving Monsanto."

"Monsanto's efforts in the litigation make its intent crystal-clear: to deny independent seed companies and America's farmers the ability to create and plant the seeds that work best for them," Sager said.  "The combination of Optimum® GAT® traits with Roundup Ready® seeds, which Monsanto is intent on blocking, provides 6 percent better yield than the same seeds containing Roundup Ready® alone.  That is why DuPont will continue to partner with farmers and independent seed companies in order to demonstrate the anti-competitive impact of Monsanto's efforts to block better products from reaching the market."

DuPont is a science-based products and services company.  Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.  Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™ and Optimum® GAT® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company.