Gevo awarded new patent, sues Butamax, DuPont, BP
Gevo Inc. has been awarded an additional patent covering further improvements in the efficiency of bio-based production of isobutanol. The new patent extends Gevo’s lead over competitors in technological innovations that enable commercially viable production of bio-based isobutanol at costs far lower than alternative technologies.
Gevo also filed lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Marshall, Texas charging infringement of the new patent by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), BP p.l.c., and their joint venture, Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC.
Gevo is a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company. With this new patent award, Gevo has 11 patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office with approximately 400 additional patent applications.
The USPTO today awarded Gevo U.S Patent No. 8,232,089 covering a bio-engineered pathway that utilizes DHADs (dihydroxyacid dehydratases) to improve the efficiency of isobutanol production in the yeast.
“The naturally occurring pathway in yeast produces only trace amounts of isobutanol,” said Brett Lund, executive vice president and general counsel. “Gevo has discovered and patented a series of changes in the yeast pathway – including the newly awarded ‘089 Patent – that eliminate unwanted byproducts and improves the efficiency of isobutanol production in yeast. Taken together, these technological advancements enable a process efficiency exceeding 90%, compared with less than 1% in the naturally occurring pathway in yeast.”
“Gevo’s intellectual property is a strategic asset that we will continue to protect,” said Lund. “We will vigorously challenge infringement by competitors who illegally make use of our patented technologies to overcome their own technological deficiencies.”Butamax has publicly disclosed its use of Gevo’s technology in its own patent application, said Lund.
“Butamax has been attempting to reach demonstration-scale production of isobutanol for several years now,” said Lund. “However, our scientists realized from the beginning the importance of increasing pathway efficiencies and recognized that to produce commercially relevant levels of isobutanol one must use the technology covered by our patents. We’ve proven this in the successful startup of our commercial-scale, renewable isobutanol facility in Luverne, Minn.”