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Bayer's Monsanto to get $22.82 million as Royalties from Indian Seed Company

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

German drugmaker Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit has won proceedings against Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd (NSL), Indian Seed Company in a royalty dispute, informed lawyers familiar with the issue.

Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) (MMB), a joint venture between Missouri-based Monsanto and India’s Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Co (Mahyco), “has received a favourable award from the arbitration panel in the proceedings against Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd (NSL) and Prabhat”, a Bayer spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. 

The spokesman refused to tell as to how much NSL and one of its affiliates, Prabhat Agri Biotech Ltd, had been asked to pay MMB. But according to Monsanto’s calculations, NSL and its 2 affiliates owed about $22.82 million to MMB. 

NSL told the arbitration tribunal had asked both the parties to maintain the confidentiality of proceedings and they were not permitted to make public statements. 

NSL has the right to appeal the arbitration ruling in a court, the lawyers said. 

MMB sells Genetically Modified (GM) cotton seeds under license to nearly 40 Indian seed companies, which in turn sell the products to retailers. NSL and two of its affiliates were among the 40. 

 But NSL and its affiliates decided to stop paying royalties, or trait fees, to MMB in 2015, arguing that Indian law did not provide Monsanto with patent protection on its GM cotton seeds, and if there were to be payments they should be set by the Indian government. Monsanto had insisted it has patent protection in India and it, therefore, could collect royalties through bilateral contracts with the Indian seed companies.  

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