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Corn+Soybean Digest

Dekalb Genetics And Dow AgroSciences Resolve Biotech Patent Dispute

Dekalb Genetics Corporation and Dow AgroSciences LLC have jointly announced the resolution of a significant patent dispute regarding the use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insect-resistance technology in corn.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Dekalb had alleged that Dow AgroSciences’ pipeline Bt corn products, including Herculex* I insect-resistant corn, which Dow AgroSciences plans to introduce in 2002, violated multiple patents held by DEKALB which cover various technologies involving the use of Bt in corn. Through a license and settlement agreement, Dow AgroSciences has obtained a license to the Dekalb patents for the sale of Herculex corn, as well as Dow AgroSciences’ pipeline Bt product intended to control corn rootworm, in exchange for the payment of a royalty to Dekalb. The financial terms of the settlement are confidential.

"We are very pleased to resolve this dispute and remove a potential obstacle to the launch of Herculex corn next year," said Pete Siggelko, global leader of plant genetics and biotechnology of Dow AgroSciences. "We believe that Herculex will provide valuable and cost-effective insect control technology to the American corn grower, and we are excited to have resolved this legal issue prior to our planned market introduction."

"As an authorized licensee of Dekalb’s Bt intellectual property, Dow AgroSciences now has important rights necessary to commercialize future insect-protected corn seed products," said Bruce P. Bickner, chairman and chief executive of Dekalb. "More importantly, this settlement agreement and license provides the foundation for a new relationship between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, in which the companies are exploring further opportunities to resolve remaining intellectual property conflicts between them in a manner that will be mutually beneficial."

Dekalb is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monsanto Company, a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information on Monsanto and biotechnology see: www.monsanto.com.

Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a global leader in providing pest management and biotechnology products that improve the quality and quantity of the earth’s food supply and contribute to the safety, health and quality of life of the world’s growing population. For more information about Dow AgroSciences, visit www.dowagro.com.

*Trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC

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