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NSL not to settle royalty dispute with Monsanto JV over Bt cotton seeds

The Indian patent law is not applicable to agricultural products or practices

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 


Nuziveedu Ltd (NSL) on Sunday said it will pursue the royalty dispute with US biotechnology major Monsanto's Indian JV over Bt cotton despite some Indian firms having settled the matter recently.

Mahyco Biotech Ltd (MMBL), a joint venture firm of Monsanto, has sub-licensed Bt cotton seed technology to various domestic seed since 2002.

However, eight licensees including refused to honour their commitments to pay MMBL over Rs 450 crore after collecting these amounts from cotton farmers in Kharif season of 2015.

MMBL had recently informed the government that three -- Ajeet Seeds, Kaveri Seed Co Ltd and Ankur -- had settled the case. Their dues were about Rs 300 crore, according to sources.

"Since the intellectual property right (IPR) has an impact on our future business, we will not settle the matter. We want Indian patent law to be read as it is today," Hyderabad-based NSL's Company Secretary Narne Murali Krishna told PTI.

The Indian patent law is not applicable to agricultural products or practices. "Since the law is clear, we want the current position to remain," he said.

The Delhi High Court has reserved the judgement on this matter, he added.

Krishna further said that has also challenged the contracts entered with MMBL for use of Bt cotton technology for seed production and sale in the domestic market. This case is still going on and is interconnected with the IPR dispute, he added.

First Published: Sun, October 15 2017. 10:52 IST