Monsanto wins patent lawsuit over DuPont, with a staggering US$1 billion in damages

The world's single most infamous genetically modified agriculturist won a tremendous court verdict.  Last week, a federal jury awarded $1 billion in damages to the world’s crop biotechnology leader Monsanto.  The jury found that Monsanto’s arch rival DuPont had willfully infringed a patent covering Roundup Ready soybeans. DuPont is to pay out $1 billion in patent infringement damages to the biotech giant, a staggering patent loss.

More than 90 percent of the soybeans grown in the United States contain Monsanto’s Roundup Ready gene, which makes the crop resistant to the herbicide Roundup or generic versions known as glyphosate. That allows farmers to spray their fields with the herbicide, killing weeds while leaving the soybeans intact.  DuPont had attempted to develop an alternative glyphosate-resistant technology called Optimum GAT. But it decided to combine that gene with the Roundup Ready gene, saying the combination worked better. In fact, that may not have been the case; the court found that DuPont was using elaborate schemes to cover  up the scientific failure with the unlicensed use of Monsanto’s patented technology. Because the jury found the infringement to be willful, the judge has the option of further increasing the $1 billion in damages. The Roundup Ready patent at issue in the trial will expire in 2014.