Source: Illinois Soybean Association

Monsanto's Roundup Ready 1 (RR1) soybean trait patent does not expire until 2014, but the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) urges the state's farmers to explore now what the change could mean for their operations.

"Ultimately, RR1 trait patent expiration means that soybean farmers will no longer have to pay trait royalties to Monsanto to purchase and plant RR1 seed. But farmers should be aware that other protected intellectual property may be in some soybean seed with RR1, so even when the trait patent expires, seed could be protected by a variety patent on the germplasm," said Ron Moore, ISA chairman and soybean farmer from Roseville, Ill. "Farmers will always need to confirm with their seed companies whether a variety patent is in place."

For the same reason, farmers who want to save and plant any RR1 trait seed varieties after 2014 should check with their seed companies to ensure no other patent protection exists. Monsanto has already announced they will not enforce variety patents on Monsanto-developed varieties containing the RR1 trait when farmers plant such saved seed varieties on their own farm.

Read more