WILMINGTON, DEL. — E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. has partnered with St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. in a series of technology licensing agreements that the companies said will expand the range of seed products they are able to offer farmers. The agreements include a multi-year, royalty-bearing license for Monsanto’s next-generation soybean technologies in the United States and Canada.
Through the agreements, DuPont Pioneer will be able to offer Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans as early as 2014, and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend glyphosate and dicamba tolerant soybeans as early as 2015, pending regulatory approvals.
DuPont Pioneer also will receive regulatory data rights for the soybean and corn traits previously licensed from Monsanto. DuPont said securing the rights will allow it to create a wide array of stacked trait combinations using traits or genetics from DuPont Pioneer or others. Meanwhile, Monsanto will receive access to certain DuPont Pioneer disease resistance and corn defoliation patents.
“This technology exchange helps both companies to expand the range of innovative solutions we can offer farmers, and to do so faster than either of us could alone,” said Paul E. Schickler, president of DuPont Pioneer. “The agreements broaden the Pioneer soybean line-up. Importantly, they give us greater flexibility in developing combinations of genetics and traits to help feed an increasingly crowded planet.”
Mr. Schickler reaffirmed DuPont’s existing financial growth commitments for its agriculture segment.
“We’ve always agreed that technological innovation and farmer choice are essential to agriculture, and this agreement endorses the value of our next-generation soybean technologies,” said Brett Begemann, president and chief commercial officer at Monsanto. “This signals a new approach to our companies doing business together, allowing two of the leaders in the industry to focus on bringing farmers the best products possible while working to advance innovation and long-term opportunity for agriculture.”
Under the agreements, DuPont Pioneer will make a series of upfront and variable based royalty payments subject to future delivery of enabling soybean genetic material. The company will make four annual fixed royalty payments from 2014 to 2017 totaling $802 million for trait technology, associated data, and soybean lines to support commercial introduction. Additionally, beginning in 2018, DuPont Pioneer said it will pay royalties on a per unit basis of Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend for the life of the agreement for continued technology access, subject to annual minimum payments through 2023 totaling $950 million.
DuPont and Monsanto also agreed to dismiss their respective antitrust and first-generation Roundup Ready soybean patent lawsuits pending in U.S. federal court in St. Louis.Additional terms of the agreements were not disclosed.