US Gevo temporarily drops lawsuit over patent infringement

10 May 2013 18:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Gevo has decided to temporarily dismiss its lawsuit against Butamax Advanced Biofuels and DuPont for allegedly infringing on one of its bio-based isobutanol patents, Gevo said on Friday.

At issue is the “808 patent”, about which the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) back in April rejected all claims made by Gevo of infringement. Gevo, which had said the patent was key to its fermentation technology, has the right to appeal the decision.

Gevo is maintaining its other lawsuits against Butamax and DuPont in regard to Gevo’s biocatalyst technology, the US biofuel producer said in a press release.

Gevo has dropped the 808 patent lawsuit because Butamax does not have a commercial plant that infringes on it, and because DuPont – a joint investor with BP in Butamax – has said that Butamax will not have one operating by the time an appeal is heard, said Brett Lund, executive vice president and general counsel for Gevo.

"Accordingly, it makes sense for us to hold off on this litigation for now and, in doing so, we will save significantly in legal costs," Lund said.

Butamax CEO Paul Beckwith said on Friday that the company is “on plan” regarding commercialisation of its biobutanol project and expects to complete the first phase this year.

“While Gevo can of course appeal the patent office’s decision, the patent office’s finding of unpatentability was extremely comprehensive in this case and the burden to overcome this decision will be exceedingly difficult,” the CEO of the US biofuel producer said.

A trial is set for August in regard to a dispute about two Gevo patents.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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