BASF and DuPont Sue Each Other for Patent Infringement

Both companies wants other's patents declared invalid.

Monday, BASF filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against DuPont for infringement of BASF's patented technology that confers tolerance to a key class of herbicides. Specifically, DuPont's Optimum GAT corn product incorporates BASF's patented promoter which is an important genetic component that enables successful tolerance toward an herbicide class known as AHAS or ALS inhibitors.


BASF Plant Science GmbH seeks an injunction and damages against DuPont and its subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International for this unlawful use of BASF's patented technology, BASF said. In the same action, BASF Plant Science seeks to declare invalid and unenforceable DuPont patents for technology relating to herbicide tolerance.


DuPont also filed a lawsuit in the same court claiming BASF is infringing four patents in DuPont's Optimum GAT trait. The patents listed in the lawsuit confer tolerance to an herbicide class with excellent environmental characteristics known as ALS inhibitors and pertain to certain methods for controlling weeds.


Through the lawsuit, DuPont is requesting BASF acknowledge the validity of DuPont's patents related to the ALS tolerance trait and provide the company reasonable compensation for their use. DuPont is also asking the court to declare BASF patents on a trait promoter invalid and rule that DuPont does not infringe those patents when it uses its own proprietary trait in ALS tolerant crops.


"BASF Plant Science, as a leading provider of advanced traits and technology in the plant biotechnology area, is committed to vigorously protecting its intellectual property and to defending against the assertion of invalid and unenforceable patents.  After prolonged discussions with DuPont failed to yield an acceptable commercial solution, BASF decided to enforce its rights by filing this lawsuit," stated Hans Kast, BASF Plant Science President and CEO.


"We respect valid intellectual property claims of others and expect them to do the same. At the same time, we have a responsibility to challenge patents that have no validity. It was only after efforts to seek clarity from BASF failed that we decided to take today's action," said DuPont group vice president James C. Borel.


Source: Feedstuffs

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