Monsanto Co. is suing six seed companies acquired by rival, E.I. du Pont de Nemours, accusing them of not paying royalties.
The Creve Coeur-based biotech seed giant filed a lawsuit in federal court district court in St. Louis Wednesday, saying the companies - Agventure Inc., Doebler's Pennsylvania Hybrids Inc., Hoegemeyer Hybrids Inc., Nutech Seed, Seed Consultants Inc., and Terral Seed Inc. - failed to pay fees for using Roundup Ready corn and soybean seeds.
The companies were all acquired by DuPont's Hi-Bred International.
The suit says that Pioneer, in 2007, launched a program called PROaccess that allowed the companies to circumvent the licensing agreements they signed with Monsanto, prior to being bought by Pioneer.
As a result, the lawsuit says, Monsanto lost "tens of millions in royalties" that the companies were required to pay for selling soybean and corn seed containing Monsanto's Roundup Ready technologies.
In 2009, Monsanto sued Pioneer for combining a DuPont-developed technology with Monsanto-developed technology. In 2010, a federal judge ruled that DuPont was not licensed to do so.