Corteva Acts To Stop Theft Of Intellectual Property, Protect American Farming

Illegal actions to steal proprietary technology trigger lawsuit against Inari

Published online: Oct 09, 2023 Articles
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Indianapolis, Ind. – To protect its intellectual property, Corteva filed suit against Inari Agriculture, Inc. and Inari Agriculture NV. As noted in the complaint, the lawsuit “…seeks to prevent Inari from continuing its brazen efforts to steal Corteva’s groundbreaking work.”

Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Inari deliberately used a third-party agent to obtain protected Corteva seeds, illegally exported the seeds out of the United States, made slight genetic modifications of the biotech traits and is seeking U.S. patents for those modified traits.

Corteva is filing the suit in recognition of the fact that such theft will, if left unchecked, set a dangerous precedent for the industry: agricultural innovations take decades of research and testing and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment to bring to market. Corteva alone invests nearly $4 million every single day on research and development. Investments of time and effort are equally substantial: for example, a single crop protection product takes an average of 13 years to reach market, a biotech trait takes almost 16 years and a new seed product can take seven years.

“Companies like ours are willing to make billions of dollars of investments in the future of agriculture not only because we want to contribute to the world around us, but also because we know that if our product is effective and serves farmers well, we can recoup our investment – and reinvest in the next game-changer,” said Sam Eathington, Corteva’s chief technology and digital officer. "Theft of proprietary technology hurts not only our company, but also, ultimately, our nation’s farmers.”

Every year, advances in technology help farmers increase yields and protect crops from devastating weeds and pests. Investments in innovation, including those made by Corteva, have helped American farmers, despite the historic storms, floods, droughts and heat waves of recent years, to produce 300 percent more per acre today than they did 70 years ago.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.