ST. LOUIS, June 17, 2009 - DuPont today filed an answer and counterclaims to a recent Monsanto lawsuit that seeks to block farmers' access to innovative new soybean lines from DuPont business Pioneer-Hi Bred. These soybeans would contain Pioneer's proprietary Optimum® GAT® trait and - through Monsanto's royalty-bearing license agreement - the Roundup Ready® trait.
In its federal court filing here today, DuPont affirmed that combining, or "stacking," of Optimum® GAT® and Roundup Ready® technologies is clearly within its rights under the license agreement with Monsanto. DuPont also said that patents relating to Monsanto's Roundup Ready® soybeans are invalid and, therefore, are not infringed when Optimum® GAT® and Roundup Ready® traits are "stacked" in soybeans. In addition, DuPont is seeking broad relief under anti-trust laws that would end Monsanto's multifaceted, anti-competitive scheme to unlawfully restrict competition.
We believe we have every right through our existing Monsanto license agreement to 'stack' our Optimum® GAT® trait with Pioneer soybean genetics already containing a Roundup Ready® trait," said DuPont Group Vice President James C. Borel. "We will vigorously defend our rights to bring valuable new technologies to the market.
Monsanto's lawsuit is another tactic used to restrict the availability of competitive products. Farmers want and deserve diverse technology options that can best satisfy their specific needs to help meet the increasing global demands for agriculture. Advancements in agriculture productivity, for example, hinge on having technology options available in the market. Our proprietary Optimum® GAT® trait combined with the Roundup Ready® trait in elite Pioneer soybean genetics would be superior to any other product on the market - better yields and broader, more flexible weed control options," Borel added. "The seed industry, U.S. growers, and, ultimately, consumers are best served when seed companies can assemble the best combinations of traits and germplasm for their customers - without the anti-competitive restrictions imposed by Monsanto."
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.