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Mycogen Seeks $210 Million in Patent Suit

January 21, 1998|Bloomberg News

San Diego-based Mycogen Corp. wants Monsanto Co. and two other companies to pay $210 million in damages for allegedly infringing Mycogen patents covering the creation of insect-resistant plants. Mycogen's demand was made in the opening of a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del. De Kalb, Ill.-based Dekalb Genetics Corp. and Delta & Pine Land Co. are the other two defendants. Douglas E. Olson, attorney for Mycogen, said the biotechnology company wants more than $70 million in damages from the three defendants and a tripling of that amount because, the company claims, the violations were willful. John Lynch, attorney for St. Louis-based Monsanto and Scott, Miss.-based Delta, said Mycogen's patents are invalid because Monsanto scientists developed the technology first. The trial could decide who will control access to the insect-resistance technology and win an advantage in the race to develop bioengineered crops. The case is expected to last two weeks, although some analysts said an out-of-court settlement is likely. Mycogen shares fell $1.50 to close at $20.25 on Nasdaq.

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