In a press announcement today, DuPont and Monsanto announced that a series of technology licensing agreements have been reached. The agreements will expand the range of seed products available to farmers, and ends a contentious court battle between the two companies. The deal includes a multi-year, royalty-bearing license for Monsanto's next-generation soybean technologies in the United States and Canada.
The agreements include DuPont Pioneer making a series of upfront and variable-based royalty payments subject to future delivery and enabling soybean genetic material. Payments will total $950 million through 2023, with $802 million paid from 2014 to 2017 for trait technology, associated data and soybean lines to support commercial production. The remainder will start in 2018 with DuPont Pioneer paying royalties on a per unit basis for Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield and Genuity Roundup 2 Xtend for the life of the agreement for continued technology access.
In addition, DuPont and Monsanto have agreed to dismiss their respective anti-trust and first-generation Roundup Ready soybean patent lawsuits pending in U.S. federal court in St. Louis.
Through the agreements, DuPont Pioneer will be able to offer Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans as early as 2014, and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend™ glyphosate and dicamba tolerant soybeans as early as 2015, pending regulatory approvals. DuPont Pioneer also will receive regulatory data rights for the soybean and corn traits previously licensed from Monsanto, enabling it to create a wide array of stacked trait combinations using traits or genetics from DuPont Pioneer or others. Monsanto will receive access to certain DuPont Pioneer disease resistance and corn defoliation patents.
In the press statement, Paul Schickler, president, DuPont Pioneer, notes: "This technology exchange helps both companies expand the range of innovative solutions we can offer farmers, and to do so faster than either of us could alone. The agreements broaden the Pioneer soybean line-up. Importantly, they give us greater flexibility in developing combinations of genetics and traits to help feed an increasingly crowded planet."
Schickler reaffirmed DuPont's existing financial growth commitments for its Agriculture segment.
Brett Begemann, Monsanto's president and chief commercial officer, says: "We've always agreed that technological innovation and farmer choice are essential to agriculture, and this agreement endorses the value of our next-generation soybean technologies. This signals a new approach to our companies doing business together, allowing two of the leaders in the industry to focus on bringing farmers the best products possible while working to advance innovation and long-term opportunity in agriculture."