Corteva, Bayer File Lawsuits Against Each Other Over Herbicide Trait Technology

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Seed trait companies Corteva Agriscience and rival Bayer CropScience have filed lawsuits in federal court this week over patent rights involving herbicide trait technology.

Corteva, in a lawsuit filed this week in the U.S. District Court for Delaware, alleges Bayer/Monsanto has violated Corteva’s patent rights to a gene that “encodes a unique herbicide resistance enzyme” for corn that allows farmers to use multiple types of herbicides against weeds.

In its complaint, Corteva points to its patent for the AAD-1 enzymes that creates resistance to two different classes of herbicides with different modes of action. Commercialized in Corteva’s Enlist brand of corn products, the AAD-1 enzymes allow farmers to use herbicides to control weeds including those resistant to Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide, Roundup.

In a statement to DTN, Bayer maintained that Corteva’s filing came just hours after Bayer filed suit against them in Delaware state court, alleging that Corteva breached contractual obligations to Bayer related to the development and commercialization of E3 soybeans. “Bayer believes that Corteva practiced Bayer technology in the development of E3 soybeans. Our suit was filed under seal because it contains confidential contractual details, which limits what we can discuss at this current time; however, we will have more details to share in the coming weeks,” the statement read.

Corteva alleges Bayer (which now owns Monsanto) has developed plans that produce the AAD-1 enzyme to have dual activity resistance against 2,4-D and quizalofop. Corteva alleges Bayer renamed the AAD-1 enzymes as “FT” enzymes. And Corteva notes Bayer has filed at least one application with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for deregulated status for a new corn variety, MON87429 maize.

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