May 10, 2016
Monsanto has released details about its ongoing discussions with Argentina's President Mauricio Macri's administration and industry representatives to find a mutually agreeable solution for soybean growers and the value chain for a soybean technology royalty system in the country.
Discussions have found common ground around four main principles: private contracts will be recognised and respected, including thousands of grower, grain handler and inland elevator contracts that support new technologies in Argentina; intellectual property would be respected for each and every use of patented technology, both inside and outside of Argentina; testing and sampling of grain should continue; and the country's soybean technology royalty system will remain operational.
"During recent discussions, the government of Argentina acknowledged that it supports a conducive environment for continued investment and further long-term development of agriculture through recognition of intellectual property rights and private agreements," said Brett Begemann, Monsanto's president and chief operating officer. "Both endorsing and actively supporting these basic principles are necessary to create a predictable business environment, which invites foreign investment."
Throughout the course of discussions, Monsanto also heard the administration's concerns with the existing soybean technology royalty system.
The system in Argentina offers growers who choose to use Intacta RR2 Pro® technology the choice and flexibility in payment timing, from the time of purchase of certified seed and at various points along the way, up to the point of grain delivery.
Monsanto has provided additional flexibility beyond those payment options to give growers the opportunity to pay for Intacta RR2 Pro at and after the point of delivery of grain. Monsanto intends to continue operating the royalty system in Argentina as it has been implemented, until the company can reach an acceptable alternative arrangement with the government.
The current soybean technology royalty system is legal, as Intacta RR2 Pro is a biotechnology invention that is protected in Argentina and other countries around the world by patent rights owned by Monsanto and its affiliates.
In Argentina, two patents have been issued that protect Intacta RR2 Pro (Patent AR026994B1, "New constructs expressed in plants and method for expressing a DNA sequence in plants" and Patent AR010897B1, "Method for controlling infestation of a soybean plant by an insect of the family tortricidae.").
Additionally, Monsanto has four patent applications pending for Intacta RR2 Pro soybean products in Argentina.
Multiple patents have been issued in other countries to protect the use of this technology outside of Argentina. The soybean technology royalty system is in place to ensure recognition of Monsanto's intellectual property rights and was designed within the framework of Argentine law and International Treaties. Under these protective systems, Monsanto will enforce its private contracts and intellectual property rights both inside and outside Argentina.