It took less than an hour of deliberations for a jury to award Monsanto Co. a whopping $1 billion in its patent infringement case against DuPont Co. The amount is the fourth-largest jury award ever in a U.S. patent case, according to Bloomberg.
In 2009, Monsanto sued DuPont for allegedly infringing its patents on genetically modified, herbicide-resistant crops. The agriculture company said that DuPont combined its own Optimum GAT technology with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready trait in violation of a licensing agreement between the two companies.
DuPont argued that its rival had obtained the patent through fraudulent means, thereby rendering it unenforceable. But a jury disagreed, taking just 45 minutes to resolve the four-week trial in Monsanto’s favor.
Monsanto stock rose 1.3 percent following the announcement, while DuPont’s took a 1.1 percent dip, according to Reuters. And while Monsanto lauded the victory in a statement, DuPont has pledged to appeal. “There were several fundamental errors in the case which deprived the jury of important facts and arguments and led to the disappointing outcome,” DuPont said in a statement. “DuPont will appeal at the earliest possible opportunity and expects to overturn this verdict.”
DuPont hopes to win its own courtroom victory on separate patent misuse and antitrust claims, which are scheduled to go on trial in September 2013.
Read more about the verdict at Reuters.
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