Monsanto Co. V. Coramandel Indag Products, (P) Ltd. Case Brief

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Case 9-3
Monsanto Co. v. Coramandel Indag Products, (P) Ltd.

India, Supreme Court


Plaintiff: Monsanto Company, St Louis (MC) – parent company of Monsanto Company-India, who is alleging that Coramandel Indag Products, Ltd. has infringed on two of their patents (Numbers 104120 and 125381) that are used in their weed killer, but was actually brought down to one patent.

Defendant: Coramandel Indag Products, (P) Ltd. (CIP) – an Indian Private Limited Company that has supposedly used 2 of Monsanto’s patents in their weed killer.

MC has brought suit against CIP for supposedly violating patent rights that MC had patented in February of 1979 under the name of Butachlor (when actually they did not do so). MC had gotten a hold of a sample of CIP’s product and analyzed the product; with the analysis coming back that it had the same compounds as in MC’s products. MC has asked the court to find CIP in violation of their patents, while CIP has for MC’s patents be revoked.

Dr. John Olin discovered formula CP-53619 (AKA Butachlor) in 1966-67 that had no ‘toxic’ effects on rice, but did kill weeds.

Dr. Olin’s formula was published in the International Rice Research Institute 1968 annual report, but he never patented this formula.

MC patented Phototoxic Compositions on March 1, 1966 and Grass Selective Herbicide Composition on February 20, 1970 with the active ingredient of Butachlor in the herbicide.

MC launched their rice-safe herbicide at its subsidiary in India in 1975 named Machete after they received the patents.

At trail, Dr. Dixon (a witness for the plaintiff), explained that the Butachlor is an emulsifying agent in the herbicide and that MC had no patent on the emulsifying agent, much less the patent for the formula.

Dixon further stated that Machete is the brand name that Butachlor is manufactured under.

Inventions/Discoveries can be protected...
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