Deere & Co says it has filed legal action against Precision Planting and AGCO, alleging the companies have infringed on 12 patents related to the technology in John Deere’s ExactEmerge planters.
The company says its lawsuit states that products made or sold by Precision Planting, including vSet seed meters and SpeedTube products, violate Deere patents.
The patents referenced in the case are related to technology that was designed to enable more accurate seed placement while planting at higher speeds. Deere introduced the ExactEmerge planter in 2014, marketing it as capable of planting corn and soybeans at up to 10 miles per hour.
Precision Planting was acquired by AGCO in September 2017 after its previous owner, Monsanto subsidiary The Climate Corporation, cancelled a deal to sell the planter equipment company to Deere. The sale to Deere was originally announced in 2015, but was delayed by a U.S. Department of Justice legal challenge.
“AGCO Corporation is aware of claims by Deere related to Precision Planting patents. In fact, the parties began discussing related claims in 2017 when Precision Planting was in the ownership of Monsanto,” said a spokersperson for AGCO in a statement shared with RealAgriculture over the weekend. “Any claims that allege products made or sold by Precision Planting infringe on Deere patents are believed to be without merit and will be vigorously disputed. AGCO and Monsanto are jointly cooperating on the legal defense of these claims.”
Deere filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court in Delaware on Friday, arguing the company “has suffered damages because of the infringement and will continue to suffer such damages if the infringement continues.”
Updated on June 4 with longer statement from AGCO.