Many people in California and around the globe are familiar with multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, Monsanto. The company is a main producer of genetically engineered seeds and glyphosate-based herbicides (such as Roundup). Many who follow business litigation news have likely seen Monsanto’s name attached to various contract disputes over the years.
One such dispute was recently ruled upon in court, with Monsanto winding up on the opposite side of the decision from which they’d hoped. The situation involved an earlier agreement the company had forged with another large seed-producing company. In 2015, Monsanto canceled a contract with the seed company, then joined forces with another entity to sue the seed company for patent infringement and wrongful use of Monsanto technology.
On a recent Tuesday, a high court ruled that Monsanto had no business terminating the existing contract. In fact, the judge said the parties remain bound by all obligations and responsibilities therein. Monsanto was ordered to stop charging royalties and restore its licensed agreement with the other seed company.
When large corporations become entangled in contract disputes, millions (if not billions) of dollars may be on the line. However, this doesn’t make problematic issues faced by smaller California business people any less important or challenging to resolve. A particular business agreement may be crucial to overall business success; therefore, it is often best to align oneself with a highly experienced commercial law attorney whenever problems arise, to protect best interests and increase one’s chances of obtaining a fair and favorable outcome.
Source: thestreet.com, “Monsanto Contract Dispute with India Seed Producer Ends In a Loss“, Amanda Schiavo, March 28, 2017