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Federal Court of Canada releases default judgment in patent infringement case against Alberta farmer
Monsanto Canada Inc. 7/30/2013
The Federal Court of Canada has issued a default judgment against Doug Van Verdegem, and Bar V Farms Ltd. of Strathmore, Alberta, for patent infringement pertaining to the Roundup Ready® gene in canola.
The court determined that Mr. Van Verdegem violated the terms and conditions of the contract he signed with Monsanto Canada by deliberately and knowingly planting, growing, harvesting and selling Roundup Ready® canola without paying for the technology like thousands of other Canadian farmers do.
Monsanto respects that farmers have a choice in selecting their seed supplier and the products they use on their farms, including both traditional seed products and those improved through biotechnology. In addition, the company is fully committed to ensuring a level playing field for all farmers who choose to purchase and grow a crop using Roundup Ready technology.
Today, more than 65,000 farmers throughout Canada have signed agreements with the company and have chosen to use our technology because of the benefit it provides to their farming operations. The overwhelming majority of these customers consistently tell us that it is not fair when other farmers profit from the technology without paying for it. Our preference is always to resolve these matters amicably, rather than pursue any legal course. Monsanto attempted to resolve this matter with Van Verdegem through dialogue, and when that was not possible, we pursued the legal course available to us.
The decision of the Court was based on detailed evidence presented to the Court, including independent expert financial analysis of the damages owed by Mr. Van Verdegem for infringement.
In keeping with its corporate commitment, Monsanto Canada’s business will not profit from the monetary award granted by the Court. The award will be reinvested with charitable and not-for-profit groups that strengthen rural communities and improve the lives of rural residents across Canada. Monsanto Canada’s corporate giving program supports organizations that focus on science and agricultural education; enhance agricultural awareness; provide leadership and development opportunities for rural youth and promote farm safety.
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Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC, Monsanto Canada Inc. licensee