Monsanto settles GM cotton royalties dispute with Indian seed firms

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A farm worker processes cotton in India

Three leading Indian cotton seed makers have settled an intellectual property dispute with Monsanto Co over its genetically modified (GM) seed technology, partly ending a legal tussle that has drawn in the Indian and U.S. governments.

Ajeet Seeds, Kaveri Seed Co Ltd and Ankur Seeds were among six Indian companies that delayed payments to Monsanto, demanding a cut in royalties they paid to the U.S. firm to license its technology.

Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) (MMB), a joint venture between Monsanto and local firm Mahyco, licenses a gene that produces its own pesticide to more than 45 local cotton seed companies in lieu of royalties and an upfront payment.

Acting on complaints by some local seed companies that MMB’s royalties were too high, the farm ministry last year cut the fees these local firms paid to Missouri-based Monsanto. (reut.rs/2yf4qvA)

Since then, Monsanto – which is being bought by Germany’s Bayer for $66 billion – has been at loggerheads with the seed firms and India’s government over how much it can charge for its GM cotton seeds, costing it tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue a year.

Ajeet Seeds and Ankur Seeds told Reuters on Wednesday they had resolved their differences with Monsanto. Calls to Kaveri Seeds’ CEO G.V. Bhaskar Rao were not answered.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Exclusive: Monsanto settles GM cotton dispute with three Indian seed firms