Firms drop expensive ongoing litigation in favour of a licensing deal

Two US chemical heavyweights – DuPont and agrochemical company Monsanto – have agreed to drop a long running intellectual property dispute to make way for a series of licensing deals worth at least $1.75 billion (£1.1 billion).

The deals allow DuPont to sell a range of Roundup brand products, including glyphosate pesticide products and soybeans genetically engineered to resist them. DuPont, operating as its agrichemical subsidiary DuPont Pioneer, will also get regulatory data rights, enabling it to ‘stack’ traits into useful combinations within GM crop strains. In return, Monsanto will get access to DuPont patents relating to disease resistance and corn defoliation.

DuPont will make fixed royalty payments totalling $802 million between 2014 and 2017. It will also make per unit royalty payments until 2023 of at least $950 million in total.

Meanwhile, the two companies have agreed to dismiss their respective US patent lawsuits pending, settling a long running dispute relating to glyphosate products. In July 2012, a US court award Monsanto $1 billion in damages as part of a patent infringement ruling. Further details of the deal were not disclosed.