By Donald Zuhn --
Monsanto and Syngenta announced last week that the two companies had reached a settlement with respect to all patent, antitrust, and commercial litigation between the companies and their subsidiaries, including Monsanto's patent infringement suit on herbicide-tolerant corn technologies, Syngenta's antitrust suit, and a dispute between the parties on herbicide-tolerant soybean technology.
Last fall, we reported on the Federal Circuit's decision in Monsanto Co. v. Syngenta Seeds, Inc. (see Patent Docs report), where the CAFC affirmed a District Court finding of invalidity with respect to Monsanto's U.S. Patent No. 4,940,835 and of non-infringement with respect to Monsanto's U.S. Patent Nos. 5,538,880 and 6,013,863. A year ago, we reported on the Federal Circuit's decision in Syngenta Seeds, Inc. v. Monsanto Co. (see Patent Docs report), where the CAFC affirmed a District Court determination of non-infringement with respect to Syngenta's U.S. Patent Nos. 6,075,185 and 6,320,100 and a jury's finding of infringement and invalidity with respect to Syngenta's U.S. Patent No. 6,403,865.
Under the settlement agreement, Monsanto will grant Syngenta a global royalty-bearing license to its Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean technology. In its press release, Monsanto noted that Syngenta accounted for approximately 12% of total U.S. soybean sales in 2007, and that Monsanto's Asgrow and American Seeds brands represented approximately 27% of such sales in 2007.
In addition, the agreement calls for Syngenta to grant Monsanto a royalty-bearing license for its dicamba herbicide tolerance technology and for Monsanto to grant Syngenta a royalty-free license to its herbicide-tolerant corn technology (GA21 event) and its insect-protected corn borer technology (Bt11). The companies have also agreed to cross-enable the development of new herbicide-tolerant and Bt insect-protection products in corn, cotton, and soybeans.
Other details of the agreement were not disclosed.
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