ST. LOUIS -- Monsanto Company announced that it filed suit yesterday in federal court in St. Louis against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., to prevent unlawful use of Monsanto's proprietary Roundup Ready(R) herbicide tolerant technologies in soybeans and corn.

"As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," said Hugh Grant, Monsanto Chief Executive Officer. "However, unlawfully taking technology is neither imitation nor flattery; it is unethical and wrong. A true technology company respects patents and its contractual agreements and delivers new products through its own innovation and honest collaboration. DuPont has failed on all counts."

Pioneer, like hundreds of other seed companies, has the right to sell soybeans and corn with the Roundup Ready trait. For several years, Pioneer publicly touted plans to replace Monsanto's Roundup Ready trait with DuPont's claimed glyphosate tolerant Optimum(R) GAT(R) trait. However, Pioneer has recently admitted that the Optimum GAT trait when used alone presents unacceptable risks to farmers.

In an effort to repair these deficiencies, Pioneer is misusing the Roundup Ready trait to mask problems with their Optimum GAT trait. This violates Monsanto's contract rights and U.S. patents. This suit insists that DuPont honor their agreements and respect patented technologies.

This is not the first time that Monsanto has had to file litigation against Pioneer for breaches of their contractual obligations with Monsanto. In a previous case involving Monsanto's YieldGard(R) Corn Borer trait, it was determined by the Court that Pioneer had breached its license and improperly used Monsanto's patented technology. After that case, in which Monsanto prevailed, an agreement was reached in which Pioneer was able to continue licensed use of Monsanto's technology. As in this previous case, Monsanto is confident once again that it will prevail.

True inventions will be critical to meeting future global food demand. Experts now predict our planet will need to double agricultural output by 2050 to feed a growing population. Protecting inventions and respecting contracts are critical to driving broad investment to meet this challenge. Monsanto's investment in innovation is clear and consistent. It is presently delivering to farmers two game-changing technologies that will help achieve higher yields, in Genuity(TM) Roundup Ready 2 Yield(TM) in soybeans and SmartStax(TM) in corn.

[Editor's Note: At the time of posting this story, neither Pioneer nor DuPont had issued a news release on the topic.]

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy.

SOURCE: Monsanto.