Butamax says Gevo’s patent infringement allegations are “unfounded”

January 30, 2012 |

In Delaware, Butamax Advanced Biofuels responded to the latest lawsuit filed by Gevo, related to isobutanol flash fermentation technology.

“Let us state emphatically, Butamax does not infringe the generic product separation technology claims in Gevo’s recent patent, which is already subject to a validity challenge by a Brazilian inventor,” declared Paul Beckwith, Butamax CEO. “While it does not surprise us that questions are being raised as to the validity of Gevo’s latest patent and whether Gevo provided sufficient disclosure in their patent application, Butamax does not use this technology.” Butamax has filed a motion to dismiss Gevo’s previous case against Butamax, and also will pursue early resolution of this latest suit.

According to Beckwith, because vacuum flash fermentation technology was found to require high energy and water consumption to meet commercial productivity, Butamax developed fundamentally different product recovery systems.

The company added, in a statement, that its technology is covered by the 7,993,889 patent which is the subject of the Butamax lawsuit against Gevo for their unlawful infringement. This patent has significant priority over all of Gevo’s patent filings, Beckwith said.

The company added:

“To achieve cost effective commercial scale production for the fuels market, Butamax R&D teams recognized the need for broad-based innovation across the entire production chain. As a result, Butamax developed intellectual property for every step of production including feedstock preparation, fermentation, separation, and purification as well as end-use of isobutanol. Butamax™ technology offers a unique synergy between the company’s biocatalyst technology and product recovery system.

“Butamax is vigorously pursuing its infringement lawsuit against Gevo, initially filed in January 2011. Butamax is seeking an injunction against Gevo which will be considered by the court in March 2012. Butamax will seek a permanent injunction post-trial, set for April 2013.”

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Category: Fuels

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