DuPont, BASF drop herbicide patent suits
January 14, 2010
Reuters reports that chemical makers DuPont and BASF Plant Science have reached an agreement on a patent infringement dispute over technology used in herbicides. They agreed to cross-license patents and dismiss claims and counterclaims against each other in two pending lawsuits, the companies said in a joint press release. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Last June, DuPont and BASF Plant Science, a North American affiliate of Germany''s BASF, sued each other in U.S. District Court in Delaware, seeking to enforce intellectual property rights to biotechnology traits, including those that provide tolerance to ALS herbicides. BASF''s suit sought an injunction and damages against DuPont and its Pioneer Hi-Bred International subsidiary for unlawful use of the company''s patented technology. The suit alleged DuPont''s Optimum GAT corn product incorporated BASF''s patented promoter, which is an important genetic component that enables successful tolerance toward an herbicide class known as AHAS or ALS inhibitors. Earlier, DuPont had filed a suit claiming BASF was infringing four patents on biotechnology traits similar to those used in the company''s proprietary Optimum GAT trait.