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TheStreet Open House

Gevo Doesn't Infringe Butamax's '017 Patent; Gevo Was First To Invent Enzyme In '017 Patent; Gevo Has Advanced Beyond That And Now Uses Different Enzymes





ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company, said today that the latest lawsuit filed by Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC (Butamax) alleging infringement by Gevo of Butamax's U.S. Patent No. 8,222,017 ('017 Patent), like the last one filed by Butamax against Gevo, will be shown to have no merit.  Gevo said it is also challenging the validity of Butamax's '017 Patent.

"We don't infringe the enzyme claimed in Butamax's patent," said Brett Lund, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Gevo. "Gevo previously developed and patented a modified E. coli KARI enzyme, and since then, our technology has advanced well beyond this. Our industry-leading process now utilizes an enzyme that is not derived from, or in any way related, to the E. coli KARI enzyme described in the newly issued patent. We provided proof of our non-infringement to Butamax and they still sued us." 

"We also challenge the validity of the just-issued Butamax patent. We strongly believe that Gevo was the first to invent the claimed subject matter," Lund said. "Therefore, we have filed a 'Request for Interference' (Serial No. 13/271,084) with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to demonstrate that the technology is, in fact, a Gevo invention. Gevo's technology represents the industry standard for the optimization of the native yeast isobutanol pathway. Our commitment to innovation is what sustains this leadership position. We see this unfounded lawsuit as another attempt by Butamax to stall our significant advances in the commercialization of renewable isobutanol."

"This lawsuit is part and parcel of an ongoing effort by Butamax and its corporate parents, DuPont and British Petroleum, to divert attention from the well-established fact that much of Butamax's technology is based on invalid patents and that Gevo is the real innovator in this field," he said.

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