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Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) reports:

Monsanto has announced that the Roundup Ready soybean trait (RR1) trait will be available royalty-free to universities and others who want to use it when the patent expires at the close of the 2014 planting season.

Starting with the 2015 planting season, anyone will be free to use or stack the trait without paying royalties to Monsanto, and there is no requirement to destroy or return unsold seed.

The confusion on this point comes from clause 10.05 in their license contract, captioned "Confidential Information," which requires the licensee to return or destroy any confidential material at the end of the license including "biological material." Monsanto says they never intended to require return or destruction of seed and they're clarifying that in a letter to licensees.

Monsanto also committed to maintaining international regulatory approvals for a period of three years past patent expiration, or until 2017. This allows any soybeans produced with RR1 to have ample opportunity to clear the market.

Companies who are current licensees and interested in using generic RR1 after the patent expires are allowed to make advance preparations so there is no lag between the trait going off-patent and availability of the generic trait in the marketplace. They also clarified that dealers who sell Roundup Ready 2 Yield (RR2Y) will be able to sell seed with RR1; there is no exclusivity requirement.

License agreements with current licensees will be changed to reflect these new provisions.

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