PIONEER HI-BRED INTERNATIONAL AWARDED JUDGMENT
PIONEER HI-BRED INTERNATIONAL AWARDED JUDGMENT DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In an order issued today,
Judge Donald E. O'Brien of the U.S. District Court awarded Pioneer Hi- Bred International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PHYB) $46,703,230 to be paid by Holden Foundation Seeds, Inc. as a result of the case filed by Pioneer in 1981 in the Southern District of Iowa, alleging that Holden had improperly appropriated some of Pioneer's proprietary corn breeding material.
The case was decided in the liability phase in favor of Pioneer on a Lanham Act count, a count for the misappropriation or theft of trade secrets, and on an intentional business tort count. The court calculated the award based on the theory of the profits lost by Pioneer because of Holden's actions. The court also enjoined Holden from selling, placing in the seed corn market, or disposing of any of the 177 lines containing the disputed breeding material or its progeny until the court issues further orders regarding the matter. Pioneer has requested that the 177 seed varieties be turned over to Iowa State University for use in developing public corn hybrids for the seed corn industry. Thomas N. Urban, chairman and president of Pioneer, said that the Court's decision to make the financial award will be good for the seed industry and especially for farmers. "Seed companies will be willing to make substantial investments in research, knowing that those investments will be protected from misappropriations by other companies," he noted. Urban pointed out that because of increased research throughout the industry, farmers will have a much wider range of hybrids and varieties from which to choose in the future. "I think we'll see more productivity increases coming out of genetic research over the next decade," he commented. Pioneer will continue to aggressively protect its breeding materials and other intellectual property, according to Urban. "We are investing over $80 million in research this year," he said. "If we are to continue such investments in the future, prudence demands that we protect them." Urban also said that technologies used in the identification of parentage of hybrids and varieties have become quite sophisticated and will be used to identify potential cases of misappropriation in the future. The order could be appealed by both Holden and Pioneer. Ross Sidney of Grefe and Sidney, the law firm handling the case for Pioneer, said that the company has not made any decisions on whether or not to file appeals. -0- 12/30/91 /CONTACT: John Hintze of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, 515-245-3510/ (PHYB) CO: Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.; Holden Foundation Seeds Inc. ST: Iowa IN: SU: FC -- NY036 -- 5719 12/30/91 16:00 EST
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|Date:||Dec 30, 1991|
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