US Butamax rejects Gevo’s biobutanol patent infringement suit

13 March 2012 15:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Butamax rejected allegations that it infringed on a patent of rival Gevo, the US-based biobutanol firm said on Tuesday.

Butamax was responding to an announcement earlier that Gevo filed a lawsuit against Butamax for alleged infringement of Gevo’s newly issued patent on “Reduced By-Product Accumulation for Improved Production of Isobutanol”.

That patent helps to make isobutanol producing yeast commercially viable, Gevo said.

However, Butamax CEO Paul Beckwith said that Gevo’s lawsuit had no legitimate basis.

Rather, Beckwith said, Gevo’s lawsuit was filed in reaction to Butamax’s own patent infringement lawsuit against Gevo this week. That patent covers recombinant KARI enzymes, which are used to make biobutanol.

The two US-based biobutanol firms have been locked in legal disputes - involving allegations of patent infringements and counter-claims - since August 2011.

Butamax is a joint venture between DuPont and BP that was formed in 2009. Germany-based chemicals major LANXESS is a stakeholder in Gevo.

Additional reporting by Al Greenwood

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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