GENET archive


4-Patents: Aventis CropScience USA and researcher file suit on Monsanto cotton patents

----------------------------- GENET-news -----------------------------

TITLE:  Aventis CropScience USA and researcher file suit on
        Monsanto cotton patents
SOURCE: Aventis CropScience US Press Release
DATE:   March 13, 2000

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Aventis CropScience USA and researcher file suit on Monsanto cotton 

LUBBOCK, TEXAS - (March 13, 2000) Aventis CropScience USA LP 
announced today that the company and an independent researcher have 
sued Monsanto Company over patents that cover transgenic cotton and 
methods for genetically modifying cotton. The patents are currently 
owned by Monsanto Company, and the lawsuit alleges that Monsanto has 
exploited the patents to exclude competition in transgenic cotton, 
which now represents about 65 percent of the cotton seed sold in the 
U.S. Monsanto markets transgenic cotton as Roundup Ready(r) and 
Bollgard(r) cotton, and Stoneville Pedigreed Seed Company markets 
BXN(r) varieties of cotton.

The lawsuit alleges the named inventor of the patents obtained the 
techniques for regenerating transgenic cotton from Dr. Norma 
Trolinder during a period of their collaboration, but then failed to 
include her as a co-inventor. Dr. Trolinder was then a graduate 
student at Texas Tech University, but was already recognized as an 
authority in cotton regeneration. As a co-inventor of the patents, 
Dr. Trolinder has the right under patent law to license the patents.

Dr. Trolinder and Texas Tech University have transferred their patent 
rights to Aventis, which will be developing transformed cotton in 
association with other Aventis companies and potential third party 
partners, the company said.

"The impact is that Monsanto has been able to monopolize the 
transgenic cotton industry which is a disadvantage for this country's 
cotton growers," said Philippe Dumont, Head of Trait Management for 
Aventis CropScience. "Establishing Dr. Trolinder's rights will give 
other companies an opportunity to compete and bring other and better 
cotton traits to market which is good for cotton growers."

The suit, filed here late Friday, also alleges that Monsanto has 
profited from Dr. Trolinder's invention to the detriment of Aventis 
and Dr. Trolinder and seeks compensation for that loss.

Dr. Trolinder and Aventis are represented by George Pazuniak of 
Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz in Wilmington, Delaware. Plaintiffs are 
additionally represented by Richard Peet of Foley & Lardner of 
Washington, D.C. and the firm of McKleskey, Harriger, Brazill & Graf 
in Lubbock.

Aventis CropScience USA LP, headquartered in Research Triangle Park, 
N.C., is the North American subsidiary of Aventis CropScience which 
is a major global crop protection and crop production company also 
involved in leading environmental and public health activities. 
Committed to developing sustainable agriculture worldwide, Aventis 
CropScience focuses on researching, developing and marketing 
innovative solutions that meet the needs of today's farming - 
increased yields, improved crop and food quality - while striving to 
respect the environment. With 1999 pro-forma sales of more than $4 
billion, Aventis CropScience devotes more than 10 percent of its 
sales to the research and development of new chemicals, biotechnology 
and plant varieties. It employs about 16,000 people in more than 120 
countries worldwide. The business is part of Aventis (NYSE: AVE) , a 
global leader in Life Sciences.

Roundup Ready(r) and Bollgard(r) are trademarks of Monsanto Company 
BXN(r) is a registered trademark of the Aventis Group.


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