Hearing on MRTPC to continue on April 26

Our Bureau

New Delhi, April 21

Mahyco-Monsanto Biotechnology Company seems to be gearing up for a long drawn battle with the Andhra Pradesh Government over the issue of the latter accusing the company of collecting `exorbitant' royalty for Bt cotton.

During the hearing at the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC), Monsanto argued that the `trait value' is a patent right. And, that intellectual property right does not fall under the ambit of the Commission.

The counsel for Monsanto argued that the price for cotton in the markets was uniform irrespective of the kind of seeds used for production. Since there was no price differentiation, there should not be a case for monopolistic trade practice.

Earlier, with regard to trait value, the Andhra Pradesh Government had objected to a certain pricing policy adopted by Monsanto.

For every 450 gm of seeds sold, Monsanto charges Rs 1,200 as `trait' charges (which is a form of royalty charges) from its Indian licensees, according to the Andhra Pradesh Government.

The Commission has listed the matter on April 26 for the next hearing.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 22, 2006)
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