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Bayer gets exclusive rights to plant-parasite patent

(Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- In the longest-running patent battle in the history of plant biotechnology, Bayer AG was awarded exclusive patent rights on a plant parasite technology developed by the Max Planck Society.

In a statement, Bayer said the technology, which is the basis for all genetically modified plant production, is based on the plant parasite agrobacterium, which can cause tumor development on plants.

It allows researchers to exploit the natural genetic-engineering capacities of the bacteria and turn these into a basic tool for the production of transgenic plants.

Monsanto Co. developed a similar technology, but the U.S. Patent Office recently decided Monsanto's patent interfered with that of the Max Planck Society.

The patent will now be the dominant patent in relation to the production of transgenic plants, the spokesman said.

Source: http://www.cropdecisions.com/show_story.php?id=22474