WEB ONLY – Quebec farmers admit to patent violation; pay $200 per acre

Three Que­bec farmers from the Sague­nay-Lac-St-Jean region in Quebec who have admitted they infringed Monsanto’s pat­ent by growing Roundup Ready(R) crops without the re­quired licence will pay Mon­santo thousands of dollars in settlement money.

Through its annual tech­no­logy protection audit program, Monsanto Canada discovered the violations and worked with the three growers to come up with settlement terms agreeable to both sides. All the growers involved agreed to pay Mon­santo $200 per acre for their infringement.

"We have a duty to protect our intellectual property and keep the playing field level for all growers who purchase and grow Monsanto patented tech­no­logies," said Trish Jordan, Monsanto Canada spokes­man. "It is through the licensing of patents that we recoup the sig­nificant investments we have made in these new technologies and this allows us to reinvest those dollars to bring future bene­ficial technologies to grow­ers."

Monsanto patents many of the trait technologies it de­velops and believes patents are necessary to ensure they are paid for their innovations and the significant investments it puts into developing new, beneficial products for grow­ers.

"Monsanto invests more than $2.5-million per day in re­search and development that ultimately benefits farmers and consumers. Without patent pro­tection, this would not be possible," said Jordan.

When farmers purchase a patented Monsanto seed vari­ety, they sign an agreement that they will not save and replant those seeds. More than 40,000 Canadian growers each year make the personal choice to buy technologies under these agreements. Other seed com­panies sell their seed under similar provisions.

"The majority of farmers in Canada understand and appre­ciate our research and are will­ing to pay for our inventions and the value they provide. They don’t think it’s fair that some farmers don’t pay," said Jordan.

In the case of the three Quebec growers, the infringe­ments resulted from growing, harvesting and selling Roundup Ready canola that they knew contained patented technology they had not paid to use.

Monsanto is committed to pursuing patent infringement actions against other farmers who have planted Roundup Ready crops without paying the applicable fee to do so.

Monsanto is currently pursuing litigation with four growers in Ontario for patent infringe­ment. Judgments have been obtained against all four grow­ers – Charles Rivett of Cooks­town; and Ron and Law­rence Janssens and Alan Kerk­hof of Wallaceburg. The judg­ments include a finding that those growers knowingly in­fringed Monsanto’s patent rights by growing, harvesting and selling Roundup Ready crops.

Under dispute, however, is the amount owed to Monsanto as a result of those intentional infringements. Final amounts due to Monsanto will be deter­mined by a judge of the Federal Court of Canada in hearings scheduled for January in Tor­onto.

Headquartered in Win­nipeg, Manitoba, Monsanto Canada Inc. is part of the larger global Monsanto family. Monsanto Company is an agricultural com­pany and a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural pro­ducts that improve farm pro­ductivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of the world’s natural resources such as water and energy. Learn more at www.monsanto.ca.