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Monsanto, Iowa State resolve soybean patent dispute


Ames, Iowa – Officials from Monsanto and the Iowa State University Research Foundation announced Tuesday that they had resolved a patent dispute involving a low-acid soybean.

A lawsuit that had been previously filed against St. Louis-based Monsanto claimed the company began a soybean program of its own that was based on a low-acid bean invented at Iowa State without seeking "license or authority" from the university.

According to the lawsuit, the university licenses its technology to others and two Iowa State research foundation professors, Walter Fehr and Earl Hammond, have been awarded several U.S. patents related to soybeans with low linolenic acid.

Monsanto began marketing the soybeans after the patents were issued.

The agreement announced Tuesday will give Monsanto a commercial license for current and future low linolenic acid product lines developed by Iowa State University. The university will receive a research license for the use of Monsanto's Roundup RReady2Yield soybeans.

Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Soybeans with low linolenic acid content make it possible to produce soybean oil that has no trans fat.

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