Monsanto Files Patent-Infringement Suit Against DuPont
06/19/2012| 02:51pm US/Eastern
CHICAGO--Seed company Monsanto Co. (>> Monsanto Company) filed a lawsuit against DuPont Co. (DD) and its Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. unit, alleging infringement of Monsanto patents in seed development technology.
The lawsuit, filed Monday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, alleges that a Pioneer system used to identify seeds with superior genetics uses technology that infringes on Monsanto patents. The technology, used to automate sampling of material from seeds and still allow them to be planted later, is known as "seed chipping."
"We believe this latest suit by Monsanto is without merit, and we will vigorously defend our position in court," DuPont said in a statement. "Monsanto continues to use litigation in an attempt to limit Pioneer from being an effective competitor. This tactic has not worked in previous cases, and it will not work in this matter."
Monsanto first publicly demonstrated its seed-chipper system in August 2007, the lawsuit says. It alleges that Pioneer's "laser-assisted seed selection" system, unveiled a year later, copies Monsanto's chipping technology.
The lawsuit's requests include an unspecified amount of compensation for damages and an order for DuPont and Pioneer to stop selling products developed using the allegedly infringing technology.
In a statement on its website, Monsanto said it has "been open to licensing our chipper technology."
Write to Owen Fletcher at email@example.com
Corrections & Amplifications
This article was corrected at 14:49 EDT to show that the lawsuit was filed on Monday. The original version of the article incorrectly stated that the lawsuit was filed on Thursday.