Some snippets from the article,
In letters to seed companies and farm groups this week, Monsanto said that it would allow farmers to continue to grow its hugely popular Roundup Ready 1 soybeans even after the patent protecting the technology expires in 2014.
Because farmers and seed companies would no longer have to pay royalties to Monsanto on the gene after 2014, Roundup Ready soybeans would become agricultural biotechnology’s equivalent of a generic drug.
While Monsanto sells Roundup Ready seeds itself, it also licenses the technology to other seed companies. Some seed industry executives and academic soybean specialists say that Monsanto was not planning to renew licenses for that Roundup Ready 1 trait that expired before 2014, so that seed companies would have no choice but to move to Roundup Ready 2.
But in its letters this week, Monsanto said it would now extend all contracts for Roundup Ready 1 until the patent’s expiration date. It also said it would not enforce language in some contracts that would have required seed companies to destroy or return Roundup Ready seed when the patent expired.
And Monsanto said seed companies could continue to sell seeds containing the Roundup Ready 1 trait without jeopardizing their access to the successor technology.
Also the article mentions that Monsanto is currently under investigation for Anti trust violations by the Justice Department.
This is good news and bad news as explained in the next snippet.
Still, it is uncertain how long Roundup Ready 1 would survive in generic form. Some nations require licenses for the import of genetically engineered crops to be periodically renewed. Monsanto said it would maintain those licenses through 2017. But if they expired after that, American farmers would not be permitted to export the Roundup Ready 1 generic soybeans to certain countries, which would discourage them from growing those crops.
Go read the whole article by ANDREW POLLACK to get the whole story.