In a recent letter to the American Soybean Association (dated December 15, 2009) Monsanto described their commitment to the Roundup Ready 1 post patent process. It is important to note that this communication did happen after ASA expressed deep concern on how the RR1 trait would be handled once the patent matured. To be clear I have not provided the entire document presented to the ASA but I have provided the exact bullet points that Monsanto offered within this document.
It is confirmed that:
- All RR1 trait licenses will extend to the end of the term of all applicable patents for which Monsanto has granted licenses. As a results, the last crop year for which Monsanto will collect royalties on the technology is 2014.
- Licenses have no obligation to destroy or return seed due to expiration of the RR1 trait licenses.
- Monsanto will not use variety patents against U.S. farmers who save varieties containing the RR1 trait for planting on their own farms after expiration of the RR1 trait patent. Farmers should check with seed suppliers regarding the policy for seed varieties developed by other companies that contain the RR1 trait.
- Monsanto will maintain full global regulatory support for this first-generation technology for at least three years post patent (i.e., through 2017). This will allow grain from the 2014 crop to be sold and processed. We will continue to monitor and assess the planned use of this first-generation technology beyond 2017 and work with appropriate stakeholders on any extension of regulatory support that may be needed.
- Seed company licensees who choose to work with RR2Y will be able to continue to sell varieties with RR1 after the patent expires.