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Legal fight breaks out between agribusiness giants

Agriculture.com Staff 05/05/2009 @ 3:09pm

Officials with Monsanto Company said Tuesday they filed a lawsuit Monday against DuPont for the alleged "unauthorized use of Roundup Ready technology."

"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."

The suit, DuPont alleges, isn't a singular protective act by Monsanto. DuPont officials say it's another act in a string of actions to "deny farmers access to alternative technologies at a time when farmers are struggling with weeds that are increasingly resistant to current Monsanto products," according to DuPont group vice president James Borel.

"The litigation filed today by Monsanto is more of what we have come to expect from them," said Borel, in response to the filing of a lawsuit by Monsanto in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri. "Monsanto has a long history of using litigation and aggressive tactics to preserve their monopoly and attempt to intimidate customers, seed partners and competitors. We will stand with American farmers and fight Monsanto's efforts to deny them competitive products."

In its suit against DuPont and subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., Monsanto officials say Pioneer is "misusing the Roundup Ready trait to mask problems with their Optimum GAT trait," an alleged violation of Monsanto's contract rights and U.S. patents, officials say. On the other hand, DuPont leaders accuse Monsanto of anti-competitive practices. "Monsanto's so-called 'stacking' restriction is one of many practices that Monsanto engages in to limit the availabilty of competitive products," according to Borel.

Officials with Monsanto Company said Tuesday they filed a lawsuit Monday against DuPont for the alleged "unauthorized use of Roundup Ready technology."

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