ERJ staff report (LMH)
Englewood, Colorado - The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected all patent claims of Butamax Advanced Biofuels covering isobutanol-producing yeast in US Patent No. 7 851 188 ('188 patent), which is currently being asserted against biotechnology company Gevo.
In doing so, the USPTO has now rejected all requested claims and correspondingly every critical claim in both patents asserted against Gevo by Butamax. In August, Gevo successfully petitioned the USPTO to reexamine Butamax's claims in US Patent No. 7 993 889 ('889 patent) covering a method of producing isobutanol using a recombinant yeast microorganism.
"This action by the USPTO solidifies Gevo's position that the patents Butamax has asserted against Gevo are invalid and unenforceable," said Brett Lund, Gevo executive vice president and general counsel in a 6 March news release. "This represents yet another positive development that further strengthens our position in what we see as Butamax's unfounded assertion."
He added, "The USPTO actions in the '188 and '889 patents also reinforce our position that the technologies and process steps claimed by Butamax were known in the field, published in numerous scientific journals or invented by others, including Gevo, before Butamax applied for its patents."
Lund noted that Gevo will continue its aggressive defence to â€œvigorously protect our landmark patent portfolio from infringement.
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Press release from Gevo