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