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Monsanto Wins $1 Billion in Court Battle with DuPont

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page, and our Missouri News page.

ST. LOUIS - Jurors awarded Creve Coeur-based biotechnology giant Monsanto Co. $1 billion Wednesday, saying that rival DuPont willfully infringed on a Monsanto patent that sits at the heart of the company's business and has helped it become the world's largest biotech seed producer.

The eight-member jury deliberated for less than a hour, returning with the verdict about 5:20 pm., after hearing daylong closing arguments. The trial, held in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, lasted three weeks.

The jury award is among the top five patent verdicts ever, the largest involving agricultural biotechnology and the largest of any kind this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

"Importantly, this verdict highlights that all companies that make early and substantial investments in developing cutting edge technology will have their intellectual property rights upheld and fairly valued," said David Snively, Monsanto's executive vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "This verdict also underscores that DuPont's unauthorized use of the Roundup Ready technology was both deliberate and aimed at rescuing its own failing technology."

DuPont immediately fired back, saying it would appeal as soon as possible and calling the award unjustified.

Monsanto sued Delaware-based E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., and its Pioneer seed division, in 2009, alleging that DuPont violated Monsanto's patent on Roundup Ready soybean technology by combining it with its own technology, Optimum GAT.