Deere, Kinze, and Ag Leader announce deal to integrate their tech and resolve litigation over planter patents

John Deere, Kinze Manufacturing, and Ag Leader Technology say they’ve reached a collaboration agreement that will make it easier for farmers to integrate their technology and equipment, while also ending a dispute over high-speed planter design patents.

The agreement will allow farmers who run Kinze and Ag Leader planting and display products to “seamlessly integrate” with John Deere’s Operations Centre.

The companies have also agreed to resolve all outstanding litigation through a deal where John Deere will license certain planter designs to Kinze and Ag Leader to allow them to continue selling their respective True Speed and SureSpeed products.

In October 2023, a jury in an Iowa court awarded Deere $16.3 million in damages and royalties from Kinze and Ag Leader after determining the two companies infringed on two of Deere’s patents in the United States. The patents applied to the design of components used in Deere’s ExactEmerge systems. Deere filed the initial lawsuit against Kinze and Ag Leader in 2020, after which Kinze and Ag Leader filed a countersuit seeking to invalidate Deere’s patents.

“We are excited to have True Speed back on the market. A key component of technologies like True Speed is the creation and collection of data. This agreement will benefit our joint farmer customers who utilize John Deere Operations Center by ensuring they can seamlessly integrate their data generated by any Blue Vantage controlled equipment,” says Kinze president Susanne Veatch, in a news release issued by the three companies on March 19.

“Ag Leader is excited SureSpeed is available to our customers again,” says Ag Leader president Al Myers. “Our focus has always been to provide tangible solutions to the market through quality precision products that fit the mixed fleet grower. Being able to connect with other platforms like John Deere Operations Center through AgFiniti gives our growers the ability to seamlessly map and analyze data in one place regardless of equipment color.”

Deere’s Aaron Wetzel says the company is putting its customers first with this agreement. “We remain committed to helping all of our customers, including those with mixed fleets, be more productive, profitable, and sustainable in their operations,” he says.

Deere and Kinze also announced plans to explore further collaborations, with details to be shared when they are available.

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