Monsanto Co. (MON), the world’s biggest seed company, will resume collecting royalties for its Roundup Ready soybeans in Brazil while it appeals a state court ruling there on intellectual property rights.
The Court of Justice in Mato Grosso ruled that collections in the state can resume, St. Louis-based Monsanto said in a statement on its website today. Monsanto, which last month suspended collections nationwide after a court ordered them stopped in the state, said it will begin collecting across the country and hold Mato Grosso payments in escrow.
“This action reinforces our confidence in our ongoing legal position and highlights that the company’s first- generation Roundup Ready soybean products are protected by various intellectual property rights under Brazilian law,” Todd Rands, Monsanto legal director for Latin America, said in the statement.
Growers in Brazil say the patent on the original Roundup Ready soybeans expired in 2010, ending their obligation to pay Monsanto a technology fee on the seeds. Monsanto says that Brazilian law extends the patent to 2014, when it expires in the U.S. Monsanto is counting on growth in Latin America, particularly Brazil, to meet its earnings forecast.
The outcome of the case won’t effect sales of Intacta soybeans, a newly patented product engineered to produce insecticide and tolerate Roundup herbicide, Monsanto said. Farmers are currently testing Intacta beans prior to the start of full commercial sales in a year.
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