Press releases of the back and forth bio-butanol patent lawsuits between Gevo and Butamax since March have piled up in the blog’s inbox, and more statements just came out yesterday, April 10.
According to Gevo, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has granted the company patent number 8,153,415 entitled “Reduced By-Product Accumulation for Improved Production of Isobutanol.” The ’415 patent covers technology which eliminates two pathways that compete for isobutanol pathway intermediates in yeast meaning that it creates a more efficient isobutanol-producing yeast.
In association with the newly granted patent. Gevo then filed a lawsuit against Butamax and its affiliate DuPont, stating that Butamax has been using the related technology covered by their ’415 patent to be able to reach commercial-scale production.
You can read what Butamax has to say about this latest lawsuit in this link.
Here are some of the back and forth “amicable” press releases the two companies produced last month against each other.
MARCH 6, 2012:
Butamax Expands Robust Isobutanol Patent Portfolio - US PTO has granted Butamax patent #8,129,162 covering KARI enzymes that optimize production of biobutanol by Butamax’s proprietary microorganisms.
USPTO Rejects Butamax’s Self-Described “Foundational” IP Claims in Successful Gevo Reexamination Petition - US PTO rejected Butamax’s patent claims under 7,851,188 currently being asserted against Gevo.
MARCH 7, 2012:
USPTO Director Issues Final Decision Denying Gevo Reexamination Petition; Second Request fir Reexamination Granted in Error - US PTO Denies Gevo’s petition to examine Butamax’s 7,851,188 patent. The order is final and not appealable. Butamax is also seeking clarification on why the US PTO should consider Gevo’s second re-exam request on some of the claims of the ’188 patent.
MARCH 12, 2012:
Butamax Files Biobutanol Patent Infringement lawsuit to Stop Gevo’s use of Butamax
KARI Enzyme Technology - Butamax filed a new lawsuit against Gevo for infringing the Butamax patent 8,129,162 awarded on March 6.
Gevo Refutes Butamax’s Unfounded Allegations of KARI Enzyme Patent Infringement - self explanatory
MARCH 13, 2012:
Gevo Granted Key Patent Covering Critical Technology to Enable Commercially Viable Yields of Isobutanol Production from Yeast - The US PTO has awarded Gevo patent no. 8,133,715 entitled “Reduced By-Product Accumulation for Improved Production of Isobutanol,” covering technology that eliminate pathways that “hijack” carbohydrates, which reportedly lowers yield and creates unwanted by-products. Eliminating this pathway improves isobutanol yield by 20%.
In conjunction, Gevo filed a lawsuit against Butamax/DuPont charging the companies infringement against the newly issued patent.
Butamax Responds to Gevo patent infringement lawsuit; Gevo patent dominated by Butamax patent - Butamax says the allegation has no legitimate basis.
After this was the latest one on April 10. I’m guessing the real winners here will be the companies’ lawyers.