PATENTS & SEEDS: Quebec (Canada) farmers admit to patent violation for growing Monsanto’s RR crops
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TITLE: QUEBEC FARMERS ADMIT TO PATENT VIOLATION FOR GROWING MONSANTO?S ROUNDUP READY TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT A LICENSE
SOURCE: Monsanto, Canada
AUTHOR: Press Release
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QUEBEC FARMERS ADMIT TO PATENT VIOLATION FOR GROWING MONSANTO?S ROUNDUP READY TECHNOLOGY WITHOUT A LICENSE
(Winnipeg, MB - December 15, 2008) ? Three Quebec farmers from the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region in Quebec who have admitted they infringed Monsanto?s patent by growing Roundup Ready® crops without the required license will pay Monsanto thousands of dollars in settlement money.
Through its annual technology protection audit program, Monsanto Canada discovered the violations and worked with the three growers to come up with settlement terms agreeable to both sides. All the growers involved agreed to pay Monsanto $200 per acre for their infringement.
?We have a duty to protect our intellectual property and keep the playing field level for all growers who purchase and grow Monsanto patented technologies,? said Trish Jordan, Monsanto Canada spokesperson. ?It is through the licensing of patents that we recoup the significant investments we have made in these new technologies and this allows us to reinvest those dollars to bring future beneficial technologies to growers.?
Monsanto patents many of the trait technologies it develops and believes patents are necessary to ensure they are paid for their innovations and the significant investments it puts into developing new, beneficial products for growers.
?Monsanto invests more than $2.5 million per day in research and development that ultimately benefits farmers and consumers. Without patent protection, this would not be possible,? says Jordan.
When farmers purchase a patented Monsanto seed variety, they sign an agreement that they will not save and replant those seeds. More than 40,000 Canadian growers each year make the personal choice to buy technologies under these agreements. Other seed companies sell their seed under similar provisions.
?The majority of farmers in Canada understand and appreciate our research and are willing to pay for our inventions and the value they provide. They don?t think it?s fair that some farmers don?t pay,? said Jordan.
In the case of the three Quebec growers, the infringements resulted from growing, harvesting and selling Roundup Ready canola which they knew contained patented technology they had not paid to use.
Monsanto is committed to pursuing patent infringement actions against other farmers who have planted Roundup Ready crops without paying the applicable fee to do so. In addition to the Quebec violations, which have now been settled, Monsanto is currently pursuing litigation with four growers in Ontario for patent infringement. Judgments have been obtained against all four growers - Charles Rivett of Cookstown, Ontario; and Ron and Lawrence Janssens and Alan Kerkhof of Wallaceburg, Ontario. The judgments include a finding that these growers knowingly infringed Monsanto?s patent rights by growing, harvesting and selling Roundup Ready crops.
Under dispute, however, is the amount owed to Monsanto as a result of these intentional infringements. Final amounts due to Monsanto will be determined by a judge of the Federal Court of Canada in hearings scheduled for January 2009 in Toronto.
Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Monsanto Canada Inc. is part of the larger global Monsanto family. Monsanto Company is an agricultural company and a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world?s natural resources such as water and energy. Learn more about our business and our commitments at www.monsanto.ca.
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
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