MISSOURI, October 6, 2004 -- CropChoice news: Monsanto
Company (NYSE: MON): announced that it has
won the key patent battle regarding biotech-gene technology
for the transformation of dicot plants, such as cotton.
The decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
that Monsanto’s scientists were the first to invent
this important discovery ends a 12-year patent interference
dispute with the Max Planck Institute and other parties.
The decision, issued yesterday by U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office, recounts the basis for finding that Monsanto
was the first company to invent agrobacterium transformation
in dicot plants, which eventually gave farmers the choice
to use biotech crops on their farms.
“We are delighted that this scientific dispute
has been resolved in Monsanto ’s favor,”
said Hugh Grant, chief executive officer for Monsanto.
“We’re pleased for our Chief Technology
Officer Robb Fraley, and the team of devoted researchers
at Monsanto who drove the groundbreaking science that
pioneered the tools of agricultural biotechnology.”
Agrobacterium is one of the ways to insert beneficial
characteristics into plants. Monsanto’s Bollgard™
insect-protected cotton was developed using agrobacterium
transformation for dicot crops.
In 1998, Robert T. Fraley, Ph.D., Robert B. Horsch,
Ph.D., Ernest G. Jaworski, Ph.D., and Stephen G. Rogers,
Ph.D., received the National Medal of Technology for
their achievements in plant biology and agricultural
biotechnology, and for global leadership in the development
and commercialization of biotech crops to enhance agricultural
productivity and sustainability.
The patent interference was originally declared in