FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Today, BASF filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against DuPont (E. l. du Pont de Nemours and Company) for infringement of BASF's patented technology that confers tolerance to a key class of herbicides.



Specifically, DuPont's Optimum GAT corn product incorporates BASF's patented promoter which is an important genetic component that enables successful tolerance toward an herbicide class known as AHAS or ALS inhibitors.



BASF Plant Science GmbH seeks an injunction and damages against DuPont and its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International for this unlawful use of BASF's patented technology. In the same action, BASF Plant Science seeks to declare invalid and unenforceable DuPont patents for technology relating to herbicide tolerance.



"BASF Plant Science, as a leading provider of advanced traits and technology in the plant biotechnology area, is committed to vigorously protecting its intellectual property and to defending against the assertion of invalid and unenforceable patents. After prolonged discussions with DuPont failed to yield an acceptable commercial solution, BASF decided to enforce its rights by filing this lawsuit," stated Hans Kast, BASF Plant Science President and CEO.



BASF has learned that subsequent to its filing, DuPont filed a separate action concerning the same subject matter.



BASF Corp., headquartered in Florham Park, N.J., is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 15,000 employees in North America, and had sales of approximately $17.5 billion in 2008.



BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals, as well as oil and gas.



BASF consolidated its plant biotechnology activities in BASF Plant Science in 1998. Today, about 700 employees are working to optimize crops for more efficient agriculture, renewable raw materials and healthier nutrition for humans and animals. Projects include yield increase in staple crops, higher content of Omega-3s in oil crops for preventing cardiovascular diseases, and potatoes with optimized starch composition for industrial use.



SOURCE: BASF Corporation via PR Newswire.