Gevo Falls on Butamax Request for Biofuel Patent Review
Gevo Inc. (GEVO), the U.S. biotechnology company backed by the oil refiner Total SA and the specialty chemicals maker Lanxess AG (LXS), fell the most in six months after rival Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reexamine a disputed patent.
Butamax, a joint venture of BP Plc (BP/) and DuPont Co., said Gevo’s patent may be invalid because it’s based on technology that “was well known at the time the patent was filed,” according to a statement today.
The companies have been sparring since January 2011 over patent rights for systems that convert corn and non-food crops into isobutanol. The Patent Office granted an earlier Butamax request last on March 23 to reexamine another Gevo patent, according to the statement. Patent reexaminations take about three years on average.
The Patent Office is also reviewing two Butamax patents, at Gevo’s request.
Isobutanol is blended with gasoline or refined into specialty chemicals or jet fuel.
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