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Gevo Refutes Butamax's Unfounded Allegations of KARI Enzyme Patent Infringement

13-Mar-2012 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 7841
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Gevo, Inc., an innovative renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, responded to the latest lawsuit filed by Butamax(TM) Biofuels LLC (Butamax) related to US.Patent No. 8,129,162 covering a modified Pseudomonas KARI enzyme, a press release by Gevo stated. 

"Butamax's allegations of patent infringement are unfounded and a reaction to our recent successes," said Brett Lund, EVP & General Counsel at Gevo. "We are on the forefront of commercializing isobutanol. We specialize in converting existing ethanol plants into biorefineries to create building block products for the chemical and fuel industries. Our technology is simply different." 

Gevo asserts that it does not infringe the enzyme claimed in Butamax's patent. "Gevo has never and will never use the Pseudomonas KARI enzyme described in Butamax's claims," added Lund. Gevo has developed a fundamentally different enzyme derived from E. coli, covered under US Patent No. 8,097,440. 

"The USPTO agrees with the position that our E. coli NKR enzyme is different from Butamax's Pseudomonas KARI enzyme, because we cited Butamax's patent application as prior art when we were awarded our NKR patent," said Lund. 

"As we've advanced, we've realized the value of our unique approach to isobutanol production and our R&D team has developed intellectual property for every phase of production including protecting own enzyme pathway. Gevo's technology offers our customers a unique advantage of drop-in alternatives in the petro-chemical and advanced biofuel chains." 

"We see this lawsuit as another attempt by Butamax to stall our significant advances in the commercialization of isobutanol," continued Lund. "Our development goals are aggressive so opposition from competitors is expected. We are on the cusp of starting up the world's first commercial renewable isobutanol plant in the next several months using our industry leading technology." 

Since January 2011, the US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded Gevo five patents as it continues to build its extensive patent portfolio consisting of more than 300 patents and applications for the economic production of isobutanol, process innovations and downstream product applications.
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