TULSA, Okla., Sept. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Syntroleum Corporation (Nasdaq:SYNM) announced today the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTO") decision issued on September 4, 2013 instituting an inter partes review ("IPR") of all claims of Neste Oil's U.S. Patent No. 8,212,094. This decision follows Syntroleum's filing in March 2013 of its IPR petition challenging the validity of the '094 patent. The PTO found that "there is a reasonable likelihood that Syntroleum would prevail with respect to claims 1-20 of the '094 patent" based on the information presented.
Neste may file its response to Syntroleum's petition, including any motion to amend the '094 patent, by November 4, 2013. Syntroleum can then respond to Neste's submissions by January 6, 2014. Subsequently, the parties will have an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and prepare for oral argument, now scheduled for April 1, 2014. Shortly afterward, the PTO will issue a final decision on the validity of the '094 patent claims.
Syntroleum and Neste are also parties to related district court litigation filed by Neste on December 20, 2012 involving the '094 patent, Neste Oil, Oyj v. Syntroleum Corp. et al., 12cv1744 (D. Del.). On July 2, 2013, the District Court stayed this lawsuit in view of the pending IPR petition. Likewise, an earlier lawsuit filed by Neste on May 29, 2012 involving its U.S. Patent No. 8,187,344 was stayed by the District Court based on Syntroleum's inter partes reexamination request regarding the '344 patent. To date, the PTO has rejected both the original claims of the '344 patent, as well as the amended and new claims submitted by Neste, as obvious in view of the prior art. The '344 reexamination proceedings remain pending at the PTO under Reexam Control Number 95/002,084.Syntroleum denies Neste's infringement claims and will continue to vigorously defend against the Neste patents, and remains confident that its position will be vindicated. Syntroleum has invested substantial time and resources in its proprietary Bio-Synfining® technology and will likewise seek to defend and enforce its intellectual property rights in venues around the world.