GENET archive


4-Patents: Update on Monsanto's GE soy royalty disputes in South America

                                  PART I
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TITLE:  Monsanto sues in soy royalty spat with Argentina
SOURCE: Reuters, by Carey Gillam
DATE:   28 jun 2005

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Monsanto sues in soy royalty spat with Argentina

KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 28 (Reuters) - Monsanto Co. on Tuesday said it
filed a patent infringement suit in Denmark against two importers of
Argentine soybeans after samples from a vessel showed the beans contained
the patented gene enabling crops to tolerate the U.S. company's Roundup

Monsanto said another Argentine soy shipment was tested in the
Netherlands, but no legal action has been taken.

"Samples from both those ships indicated the presence of the Roundup
Ready gene... we have filed a legal case in Denmark," Monsanto
spokeswoman Lori Fisher told Reuters.

Monsanto had warned Argentine soy exporters that it would ask customs
agents in countries where its seeds are patented to impose a $15-per-
tonne fine on shipments of Roundup Ready soy products from the South
American country.

Monsanto has been pressing for a new royalties scheme in Argentina, given
the nearly universal use in the world's No.3 soybean producer of the
company's Roundup Ready seeds. Most local soy producers buy biotech seeds
on the black market, avoiding any royalty fees.

Fisher said the shipments were sampled over the last two weeks and the
patent infringement suit was filed in the High Court of the Eastern
Division in Denmark.

"The whole thing is really one step in a process," said Fisher. "The only
reason we took these actions is because there were some parties in
Argentina who were questioning whether or not we had intellectual
property rights enforceable in Europe."

"Our preference would be that we could come to some agreement in
Argentina so we would not have to take this legal route," Fisher said.

The Argentine Agriculture Secretariat refused to comment on Tuesday,
saying it had not confirmed the testing of local soy.

Government-led talks on royalties collapsed in March when Monsanto
threatened to fine Argentine soy shipments in Europe. Local Agriculture
Secretary Miguel Campos said Argentina would take Monsanto to court if it
levied fines in European ports.

Earlier this month, Monsanto announced it was negotiating a private deal
with Argentine soybean farmers to pay royalties for Roundup Ready seeds.
Monsanto has private accords with farmers' groups in Brazil and Paraguay.

"I'm surprised because although Monsanto's threat to take action against
Argentine goods arriving at port was seen as possible, I thought
negotiations were advancing," said Enrique Erize, analyst at Novitas
consultancy in Buenos Aires.

In Argentina, at least 95 percent of the 38.3 million tonnes of soy
forecast to be produced this season is estimated to be Roundup Ready,
which has revolutionized Argentina's farm sector because it is both
cheaper and easier to grow.

Only 20 percent of Argentina's $1 billion-a-year seed business is legally

Monsanto in Argentina said despite the lawsuit, it continues to work
toward a local solution.

"We do not see this rupturing negotiations, on the contrary, we continue
to be convinced that we can reach a local accord," said Federico Ovejero,
Monsanto's local public relations director.

(Additional reporting by Karina Grazina and Hilary Burke in Buenos Aires)

                                  PART II
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TITLE:  Monsanto says readies Brazil soy royalty system
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   27 Jun 2005

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Monsanto says readies Brazil soy royalty system

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, June 27 (Reuters) - Monsanto has prepared a
system under which Brazilian farmers can pay royalties for using Roundup
Ready (RR) technology for the 2005/06 (Oct/Sept) soy crop, the U.S.
biotech seed producer said on Monday.

Brazilian producers using RR soy technology in 2005/06 would pay 35.20
reais per 40-kg bag of seeds (0.88 real per kilo), equivalent to 50 reais
per planted hectare, Monsanto said in a statement.

"Given the gains that this technology has shown, it's a return of four
times the amount invested by the farmer," Monsanto said.

Brazilian producers have been demanding a lower royalty, saying they are
short of cash after a drought ravaged harvest and warning that they could
continue buying pirate soybean seeds unless they are reasonably priced.

Conventional seeds cost about 70 reais per bag, compared with an overall
cost of around 100 reais per bag for RR seeds.

Monsanto estimated that RR technology brought savings of 200 reais per
hectare because less agricultural chemicals were needed.

Revenue from RR technology will be shared between Monsanto and companies,
such as Embrapa, Coodetec and the Mato Grosso Foundation, which have bred
their own seed varieties and multiplied them under license .

At the same time Monsanto will continue to seek compensation for the
unauthorized use of its RR technology, Monsanto Brasil's Soy Business
manager said in the statement.

He said that Brazil would have 3 million bags of legal GMO soybean seeds
for 2005/06 harvest, enough to plant 2.2 million hectares or about 10
percent of Brazil's soybean area.

Last season when RR technology was still illegal in Brazil, producers
agreed to pay 0.60 real per bag in royalties at the point of sale for
using the genetically modified (GMO) seeds.

In early March, Brazil's Congress approved a Biosafety Law paving the way
for sales of GMO soy and other crops.

Brazil is the world's second biggest soybean producer after the United States.

                                  PART III
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Monsanto's Royalty Demands Gain Legal Support in Brazil
SOURCE: Financial Times, UK
DATE:   6 Jun 2005

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Monsanto's Royalty Demands Gain Legal Support in Brazil

A District Court in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande has confirmed the
right of Monsanto to collect royalties on pesticide resistant Roundup
Ready soybeans in that state. The ruling is likely to provide an example
for three other states to agree royalty payments. The royalty payment is
likely to amount to 1% of soybean sales at the time of sale.


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