Patents

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
patents, research, roundup ready

Companies:
dupont, monsanto



Monsanto Awarded ONE BILLION Dollars Due To Patent Infringement For A Product That Was Never On The Market

from the roundup-ready dept

We've had plenty of stories over the years of Monsanto's incredibly aggressive stance when it comes to its "Roundup Ready" patents. The company has now been awarded $1 billion from Dupont for infringing on one of these patents. Now, here's a case where we're talking about competing companies, so perhaps no big deal, right? Except there's one tidbit here that makes this interesting: Dupont never brought the product in question to market. So the "damages" to Monsanto would seem to be minimal... except in a court of law apparently. According to Patently-O:
The damages theory was interesting. Since the accused product was not yet on the market, Monsanto did not seek any lost profit. Rather, Monsanto demanded a reasonable royalty for the research-use made by the defendants. Monsanto argued that the use of Monsanto's invention in DuPont's labs and Pioneer's test fields gave those companies an "improper head start" in making the GM seeds. The judge and jury agreed – if those companies wanted to build upon the invention then they should have first obtained a license. In the pharmaceutical world, 35 U.S.C. § 271(e) offers a research exemption for this type of activity. However, that exception does not apply here because of the low level of regulation over genetically modified food-products. The patent is set to expire in 2014. The patentee's right-to-exclusive-research supported by this case means that the 2014 date offers a starting-date for follow-on competitive research. Any actual products building directly upon the patented invention will arrive on the market sometime later.
Got that? Normally, companies can build on top of others' products as patents are set to expire, so they're ready to launch once the patent has expired. But, in this case, even trying to build new offerings in a lab for use later is apparently an insane billion dollar issue. Even worse, it means that any real competition, which will create more market-reasonable prices, gets significantly delayed as no one can prepare for when the patent expires.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Wally (profile), 9 Aug 2012 @ 10:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow. The only basis that you decided to argue against me is because of your assumption of me not knowing a damn thing about Chemicals R&D (key words after "R&D....CHEMICALS). You could have easily tried to discredit me based on my statements on patents involving R&D Chenical engineering. But no, you used your last statement proving you are incapable of logical reasonung skills or tgought.

    Your statement proves that the only reason you tried to discredit me was based upon YOUR assumption I was taking the opposite side of your baseless opinions. That completely discredits you for this entire article.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.