Monsanto Co. has resolved a patent dispute with Bayer CropScience and a German non-profit research organization in a worldwide cross-license deal. This ends a long-standing rift over Agrobacterium technology, a transformation technology used to transfer a gene into a host plant’s DNA with more precision and efficiency than other available methods. Scientists at Monsanto and at the Max Planck Society claim to have invented it.

You can read details about Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in plants here.

Bayer CropScience is the exclusive licensee for the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. Both are based in Germany. Under the agreement, Bayer CropScience and Monsanto will cross-license the agrobacterium-mediated transformation in selected areas of the globe.

In October 2003, Monsanto and Bayer CropScience reached a truce on a 20-year patent dispute (the longest-running patent battle in the history of plant biotechnology), with both sides dismissing at least five lawsuits against each other. In that deal, the two agreed to license each other for various patented technologies, including products that are insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant. The companies are still in a patent dispute over insect-resistant corn.

Press release here.

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