Butamax files additional lawsuits against Gevo; seeks declaratory judgment of invalidity of Gevo patent and files suit to enforce Butamax's '017 KARI patent

Aug 08, 2012, 06:00 ET from Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC

WILMINGTON, Del., Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Butamax™ Advanced Biofuels, LLC, the biobutanol technology leader, provides an update on the litigation activity between Butamax and Gevo related to biobutanol patents.

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Last week, Butamax filed suit in the U.S. District Court of Delaware for a determination that Butamax does not infringe any valid claim of the Gevo patent 8,232,089. The '089 patent relates to the use of specific DHAD enzymes in the isobutanol production pathway. Gevo's claims are not novel in view of discoveries previously disclosed years ago in various Butamax patent applications. Butamax's engineered biosynthetic pathway includes improvements to various enzymes of the pathway providing significant advancement in the low-cost production of biobutanol.

In addition, Monday, Butamax filed a new lawsuit against Gevo for infringement of Butamax patent 8,222,017 which protects a subset of improved KARI enzymes in the isobutanol production pathway.

"Butamax and its shareholders have invested significant resources in developing the foundational and advanced technology for isobutanol production and we protect this innovative technology with a robust patent portfolio," said Paul Beckwith, Butamax CEO. "These additional lawsuits reflect Butamax's commitment to protect our technology for our customers and shareholders."

In response to Gevo's announcement of a preliminary injunction filing against Butamax, Butamax is unable to comment in detail because it has not yet seen Gevo's motion. However, Butamax's proprietary technology is not dependent on the subject matter of the Gevo 8,133,715 patent. Further, Butamax believes the claims of this patent are invalid.

Butamax's patent portfolio was established very early in the program with patent applications filed as early as 2005. This robust portfolio covers inventions that address the full spectrum of biobutanol production including recombinant microorganisms that convert various feedstocks to biobutanol, process engineering for recovering biobutanol produced during fermentation, engineering design for optimized energy integration, and various renewable fuel and chemical compositions.

About Butamax

Butamax™ Advanced Biofuels, LLC, a joint venture between BP and DuPont, was formed to develop and commercialize biobutanol as a next generation renewable biofuel for the transport market. The company benefits from the synergy of DuPont's proven industrial biotechnology experience and BP's global fuels market knowledge. Butamax's proprietary technology offers a cost-advantaged manufacturing process for isobutanol with value from field to pump. For more information, visit www.butamaxpatents.com.

Butamax™ is a trademark of Butamax™ Advanced Biofuels, LLC.

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