A St. Louis federal court jury ruled in favor Creve Coeur-based Wednesday, awarding a billion dollars in damages to the firm after determining that DuPont "had willfully infringed a patent covering Roundup Ready soybeans," The New York Times reported.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the case stemmed from Monsanto's contention that DuPont violated an earlier agreement between the two firms when it combined Roundup Ready with its own product Optimum GAT.
DuPont vowed to appeal the verdict.
“DuPont believes that the evidence presented during the trial demonstrated clearly that Monsanto’s Roundup Ready® soybean patent (RE 39,247) is invalid and unenforceable and that Monsanto intentionally deceived the United States Patent and Trademark Office on several occasions as it sought patent protection. Further, DuPont believes that the damages awarded of $1 billion are unjustified, particularly considering that Pioneer has never sold a single Optimum® GAT® seed and has no plans to do so in the future. DuPont’s license to sell Roundup Ready® soybeans remains in place and is not impacted by this verdict,” said DuPont Senior Vice President and General Counsel Thomas L. Sager.
Several aspects of Monsanto’s misconduct involving this patent, which were not tried in this case, will be presented to a different jury as part of DuPont’s antitrust and patent misuse case against Monsanto in September 2013.
"Importantly, this verdict highlights that all companies that make early and substantial investments in developing cutting edge technology will have their intellectual property rights upheld and fairly valued," said David Snively, Monsanto's Executive Vice President and General Counsel. "This verdict also underscores that DuPont's unauthorized use of the Roundup Ready technology was both deliberate and aimed at rescuing its own failed technology."
"The materials uncovered from DuPont files during this case highlight that DuPont's senior leaders were actively working to hide the fact their OGAT technology had failed and were using elaborate schemes to cover that up with the unlicensed use of our technology," Snively added. "They knew the OGAT technology didn't work for years, but opted to tell a much different story to their customers and to Wall Street. It is deeply disappointing that repeated requests to DuPont's leadership and board to investigate their own internal actions were not addressed and corrected, which ultimately required the matter go to trial."