Bayer CropScience AG and Monsanto Company, two of the leading global agro-companies, have entered into a series of long-term business and licensing agreements related to key enabling agricultural technologies.
Bayer CropScience will grant Monsanto a royalty bearing, non-exclusive license for its LibertyLink herbicide tolerance technology for use in corn and soybeans, the two largest field crops in terms of acreage in the United States.
The agreements provide Monsanto with an option to market corn and soybean seeds which contain both Monsanto's Roundup Ready and Bayer CropScience's LibertyLink technologies, which could provide farmers with additional weed management solutions. Monsanto and Bayer CropScience also amended certain existing agreements in the area of herbicide tolerance to provide each other more favorable terms.
In the area of insect resistance, the two companies have also entered into a royalty-bearing agreement giving Bayer CropScience rights under certain Monsanto intellectual property. In addition, the companies amended other agreements related to insect-protection technologies, including Monsanto’s existing non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license for use of Bayer CropScience’s Dual Bt technology. This enables Monsanto to commercialize products containing multiple insect resistance genes with different modes of action.
As part of the agreements, Monsanto and Bayer CropScience cross-licensed each other under their respective patent estates for RNAi technology, an important enabling technology for the development of new agricultural products.