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Monsanto and DuPont back in court over corn patents

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred International is suing Monsanto for allegedly violating DuPont patents related to corn seed production.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court, the Iowa-based seed company accuses Monsanto of using a patented technique developed by DuPont to enhance corn seed germination. The technique involves defoliating the corn plants with herbicides between pollination and harvest.

DuPont alleges that Monsanto has been using this defoliation technique at its research site in Constantine, Michigan.

Two of the DuPont scientists who developed that method now work for Creve Coeur-based Monsanto.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Monsanto called the lawsuit “baseless” and “without merit.” Here is the full text of that statement:

“A review of the lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court in the Southern District of Iowa indicates that DuPont's claim pertains to defoliating corn plants with Paraquat or Roundup. This approach is not used in any Monsanto production fields. We don't believe this lawsuit has any practical effect on our current or future business; however we take all lawsuits seriously. Importantly, this filing appears to be another in a series of frivolous claims initiated by DuPont against our business and aimed at distracting us from our mission of investing in and delivering new product offerings to farmers around the world. We will defend our business against this latest attack.”

This lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal battles between the two biotechnology companies over business practices and patent violations.

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