July 29, 2004,
as reported by just-food.com: A U.S. subsidy
of Swiss biotech giant Syngenta filed a lawsuit accusing
U.S. biotech giant Monsanto of violating antitrust laws.
Syngenta’s U.S. division claims that Monsanto
has a monopoly on biotechnology corn seed in the U.S.
The lawsuit came shortly after Monsanto filed two new
lawsuits accusing its Swiss agribusiness rival of breach
of contract and patent infringement -- its third such
action in less than three months. The Monsanto suit
is seeking damages and termination of the Roundup Ready
soybean license that Monsanto originally granted to
Ciba-Geigy Corp, one of Syngenta's corporate predecessors.
Syngenta’s lawsuit alleges that Monsanto has
“engaged in a pattern of illegal and improper
activities to maintain its monopoly in key corn traits
in the US, including Monsanto's attempts to prohibit
Syngenta from competing with GA21, an established and
proven glyphosate-tolerant corn trait”.
Syngenta said it plans to offer the GA21 technology
through its NK brand, the Garst and Golden Harvest brands,
and through license with other seed companies for the
2005 growing season.
Monsanto's original breach-of-contract lawsuit, filed
on 10 May 2004, claims that the license it issued Syngenta
limited Syngenta to commercializing Roundup Ready soybeans
under one product brand.
Monsanto also said one of its subsidiaries had initiated
a patent infringement lawsuit in Illinois federal court
to stop Syngenta Seeds from developing, using and selling
herbicide-tolerant corn seed such as Monsanto's GA21
Roundup Ready corn product.