This excerpt taken from the SYT 20-F filed Mar 1, 2006.
Missouri Roundup Ready Soybean Branding Case On May 10, 2004, Monsanto Company commenced an action against Syngenta Seeds, Inc. in Missouri State court (St. Louis County). In its Complaint, Monsanto seeks a declaration that, pursuant to the express terms of its license agreement, Syngenta only has the right to develop, produce and sell Roundup Ready® soybeans under the NK® Brand. Monsanto is seeking a declaratory judgement and permanent injunction prohibiting the use of Independence Brand (or any brand other than the NK® Brand) in the production, marketing, advertising or sale of Monsantos Roundup Ready® soybean technology. In response to the actions by Monsanto, Syngenta filed a complaint in Minnesota seeking a declaratory judgement that Monsanto cannot revoke permissions granted under the License Agreement and a permanent injunction barring Monsanto from terminating the License Agreement for the breach alleged in its letter relating to the
proposed introduction of the “Independence” Brand. Following a hearing, the Minnesota action was stayed pending resolution of the Missouri action. Syngenta subsequently moved the Missouri court for an order dismissing all counts of Monsantos complaint, or in the alternative, for declaratory judgement in favor of Syngenta, arguing that the License Agreement is clear and unambiguous as a matter of law and that it does not limit Syngenta to selling seed under a single brand name. Additionally, Monsanto has filed a motion to amend its complaint to add a breach of contract claim; Monsanto contends that by selling identical soybean varieties in both the US and Canada, Syngenta has breached its Roundup Ready Soybean License Agreement in the US. Monsantos motion to amend is pending. Syngentas motion was heard December 1, 2004 in St. Louis, Missouri and, in a December 8, 2004 Order, the court set another hearing for March 14-15, 2005 so that a technical term of art and/or course of conduct in the industry that the court may not be aware of can be construed. Syngentas motion for summary judgement was argued March 14-15. Matter was tried December 20-21, 2005 without closing arguments. Parties were asked to each submit by January 13, 2006, a memo with succinct closing arguments supported by case law and a proposed judgement. On February 8, 2006, the court found that the License Agreement limits Syngenta to a single brand, NK. Syngenta is considering filing an appeal.
In a second action filed August 25, 2005, Syngenta Seeds Inc., is seeking a judgement declaring that Monsanto breached the 1993 Roundup Ready Soybean License Agreement by failing to provide Syngenta with equal access to improved Roundup Ready soybean genes (RR2Yield). On October 14, 2005, Monsanto moved to dismiss based upon lack of ripeness, but later withdrew its motion. Discovery is pending and trial is currently scheduled for August 2006, although because of the court’s calendar, it is likely that trial will be rescheduled to begin in January 2007.