Gevo, Inc. said today that a decision issued Friday, Nov. 16 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Appeals Court) supports Gevo’s position in the patent infringement litigation with Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC (Butamax) involving yeast engineered to produce isobutanol.
The Appeals Court upheld a decision by Judge Sue L. Robinson of the United States District Court for the District of Delaware in which she denied a motion for a preliminary injunction sought by Butamax. In her decision issued June 20, Judge Robinson stated that the “plaintiff (Butamax) does not hold a valid patent, nor would the defendant (Gevo) infringe if it did.” The Appeals Court affirmed Judge Robinson’s ruling and stated, “Gevo, Inc. raised a substantial question of validity concerning the asserted patent (the ‘889 Patent), a question which Butamax has failed to show lacks substantial merit.”
“In addition to the USPTO rejecting Butamax’s patents and declaring them unpatentable, we now have two judicial decisions supporting our position that Butamax’s ‘889 patent is invalid and that we don’t infringe upon it,” said Brett Lund, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Gevo. “If Butamax persists in moving this case to trial, we are even more confident that Gevo will prevail, given the decisions in our favor by the trial court, the Appeals Court, and the USPTO.”
The Appeals Court issued its ruling only five working days after the Court heard oral arguments on the matter. “The timely decision was important since it thwarts efforts by Butamax to offset our leadership position in bio-isobutanol and in establishing a very strong intellectual property portfolio surrounding our process technologies,” added Lund.
Gevo is a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company. Gevo’s patent-protected, capital-light business model converts existing ethanol plants into biorefineries to make isobutanol. This versatile chemical can be directly integrated into existing chemical and fuel products to deliver environmental and economic benefits. Gevo started up its first commercial isobutanol facility in Luverne, Minn., and has a marquee list of partners including Coca-Cola, Sasol, and LANXESS, among others. Gevo is committed to a sustainable biobased economy that meets society’s needs for plentiful food and clean air and water.
Gevo, Inc., press release, 2012-11-19.