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Bayer, Monsanto end IP war

On October 14, Monsanto (St. Louis, MO, USA) and Bayer CropScience (Monheim, Germany), two of the world’s largest crop protection firms, agreed to bury a handful of intellectual property hatchets and create reciprocal licensing agreements instead. Ending several–but not all–long-pending lawsuits, both agbiotech giants granted each other licenses for techniques creating herbicide-tolerant crops, among others.

Also, Bayer dropped its intellectual property claims regarding Monsanto’s YieldGard, a corn variety that contains toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to resist rootworm, and marked down Monsanto’s license for creating Dual Bt insect-resistant crops.

Monsanto, for its part, eased the terms of Bayer’s license to make glyphosate-tolerant and Bt cotton. The agreement could put competitors at a disadvantage because they will not have access to the wide of range of technologies Bayer and Monsanto now share.

Other terms of the agreement, including financial arrangements,were not made public, other than that some lawsuits will still be played out in court. Monsanto struck a similar agreement with DuPont (Wilmington,DE, USA) in April 2002.

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