GENET archive


4-Patents: Monsanto leaking millions in patent revenue, claims group

                                 PART I
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Monsanto leaking millions in patent revenue, claims group
SOURCE: Food Navigator, US edition, by Anthony Fletcher
DATE:   7 Oct 2005

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Monsanto leaking millions in patent revenue, claims group

10/7/2005 - Biotech giant Monsanto has lost millions in international
royalty payments and is trailing its major competitor, Pioneer, in US
department of agriculture genetically modified (GM)-crop field trials,
according to a Canadian pressure group.

The claims, which come just days before chief financial office Terry
Crews will announce the company's year-end results, are designed to
unsettle investors in a firm that has long been the target of critics of
growing corporate power.

"Poor International Patent (IP) protection in the developing world,
increased competition at home and a saturation of the US marketplace
cannot help but shrink earnings in the coming years," said Polaris
analyst David Macdonald.

Polaris insists that since 2002, Monsanto has lost $545 million in
international royalty payments, resulting in fewer tests of new products
for its agribusiness pipeline. In addition, with a patent challenge to
its insect-resistant Bt transgenic traits from Dow Agrobusiness, it says
that the company's intellectual property rights are by no means secure.

According to Polaris, Monsanto makes about $400 million off its Bt traits
annually in the US alone.

"Investors should be wary of a company betting its earnings on GM
technology, said Macdonald. "The future is not at all certain."

Other industry commentators however are more sanguine about the company's

The company certainly enjoyed some good news earlier this week, after an
agreement between Monsanto and Brazilian seed-industry body Abrasem over
the genetically modified seed Roundup Ready was clarified. Shares in
Monsanto rose 5.8 percent on the back of this.

"We believe we have the necessary rights we need to continue to
commercialize our current Bt products and to continue developing the Bt
projects in our pipeline," a Monsanto spokesperson told FoodNavigator- Monsanto is now confident that its Roundup Ready soybean patents
have protection until August 2007, leading some industry commentators to
paint a more optimistic picture of the firm's future.

"The market evidently bought Monsanto's side of the story," said
investment journal Motley Fool recently. "The firm is managing its
pipeline well. In soybeans alone, it is likely to market new varieties
with higher protein and/or oil content within three years.

It could be noted also that Polaris has an agenda in casting Monsanto in
the worst light possible. The organization believes that "transnational
corporations [have] effectively secured control over the reins of public
policy making in this country [and elsewhere] to the point where citizens
were becoming politically disenfranchised."

In addition the group states its aim as "developing the kinds of
strategies and tactics required to unmask and challenge the corporate
power that is the driving force behind governments concerning public
policy making on economic, social and environmental issues."

Nonetheless, it is clear that the issue of international patents, which
has always been contentious, will rumble on.

"Monsanto is racing against time to create new offerings to replace sales
of items losing protection," noted Motley Fool. "And as is the case with
drug companies, the loss of a patent can leave a huge hole in revenue."

"The whole episode suggests that investors need to pay close attention to
Monsanto's pipeline."

                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Argentina Ag Secretary says Monsanto EU patent claims wrong
SOURCE: Dow Jones Newswire, USA, by Taos Turner
        posted by GRAIN BIO-IPR docserver
DATE:   6 Oct 2005

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Argentina Ag Secretary says Monsanto EU patent claims wrong

BUENOS AIRES - (Dow Jones) - Argentine Agriculture Secretary Miguel
Campos met with European Union Commission officials Thursday and told
them that Monsanto (MON), the leading producer of genetically modified
plant seeds, is wrong to claim that it should collect royalties on
Argentine soybean exports to the E.U.

Argentina exported around 10 million tons of soybeans, soyoil and soymeal
to E.U. countries last year, according to Agriculture Secretariat data.

Monsanto says it deserves to collect royalties on such exports because
they were produced using a type of soybean seed that it designed.

The company has long complained that most farmers in Argentina use
Roundup Ready without properly paying for it.

In June, Monsanto began filing lawsuits over the shipment of soybean
products to the E.U., whose members recognize Monsanto's Roundup Ready patent.

Although Roundup Ready is used to plant 95% of the soybeans in Argentina,
the South American nation has never granted Monsanto a patent for the seeds.

As a result, Monsanto has had trouble collecting royalties on the seeds,
which are often bought illegally in a huge underground seed market or
simply replanted after each harvest.

Monsanto hopes the lawsuits will lead E.U. judges to declare that
Monsanto should be compensated whenever soybean products are shipped to
the E.U.

However, Campos told E.U. officials that Monsanto's patent applies
strictly to soybean seeds and not to the grain, meal or oil actually
produced by them.

"The Argentine products that arrive in Europe are not included in
Monsanto's patent in the E.U.," Campos told E.U. Agriculture and Rural
Development Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, according to a statement
issued Thursday by the Agriculture Secretariat.

"The actual grain, as well the meal, are totally excluded from the reach
of the patent.

Given European norms, Monsanto has no right to collect royalties on these
Argentine products." Campos also said Monsanto was behaving like a
monopoly and should be dealt with accordingly.

Monsanto's behavior "could be considered dominant and abusive and it
should merit an anti-monopoly investigation in the E.U.," the statement
quoted Campos as saying.

Meanwhile, Monsanto said Thursday it believes firmly in the strength of
its case.

"Our position is that as long as the (Roundup Ready) gene can be
detected, if it can be found in both the seed and the grain or the meal,
we have the right to collect," said Monsanto spokesman Federico Ovejero.

"We think our case is pretty strong." Still, Ovejero said Monsanto would
prefer to work with farmers and government officials to reach a
negotiated solution to the problem in Argentina.

"While we are still moving forward with the lawsuits, our preference is
to reach a consensus agreement locally in Argentina," Ovejero said.

"We're putting our effort into that." Argentina is the world's third-
ranked soybean producer and exporter.

It is also the world's leading exporter of soyoil and soymeal.



Taos Turner, "Argentina ag sec heads to EU to talk about Monsanto suits,
Dow Jones Newswires, 3 October 2005.

Monsanto strikes royalty deal for transgenic soybean seeds, St Louis
Business Journal, 30 September 2005.

Monsanto Company, "Monsanto responds to news reports questioning patent
situation on Roundup Ready soybeans in Brazil", Monsanto news release, St
Louis, 27 September 2005.

"Groups question Roundup Ready patent in Brazil",, 26
September 2005.

Matías Longoni, "Nueva propuesta por las patentes agrícolas", Clarín,
Buenos Aires, 21 de septiembre 2005.


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