Battle of the Stacked Traits, Transgenic Plants Cells and Other Legal News
Battle of the Stacked Traits
Corteva recently sued Bayer-Monsanto in Delaware federal district court alleging infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 10,947,555 (“555 Patent”) which was issued on March 16, 2021. The ‘555 patent covers transgenic plants cells (and plants) incorporating a transgene that expresses the “AAD-1” protein which provides tolerance to 2 different herbicides: 2,4-D and quizalofop. The patent also indicates the AAD-1 transgene can be stacked with other herbicide-tolerance genes to provide resistance to additional herbicides. Corteva has commercialized this technology in its Enlist branded products.
In the suit, Corteva alleges that Monsanto has been aware of Corteva’s genetic technology resulting in the AAD-1 transgene for many years and used it to develop plants that were also resistant to 2,4-D and quizalofop. According to the suit, Monsanto renamed the AAD-1 protein as “FT” enzymes and began using the technology to develop herbicide resistant corn and soybeans. Corteva alleges that Monsanto has petitioned USDA for deregulation of a transgenic corn containing the AAD-1 technology which is genetically identical to its patented AAD-1 gene.
Bayer filed its own lawsuit against Corteva, apparently just hours before Corteva’s suit, alleging breach of contractual obligations related to development and commercialization of Enlist E3 soybeans. The details of Bayer’s suit are not publicly available because it was filed under seal due to confidentiality requirements in the contracts.