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Gevo Wins Court Ruling in Butamax Biofuels Patent Lawsuit

Gevo Inc., a biofuel chemical development company, won a court ruling in its favor as part of a continuing series of patent-infringement lawsuits with Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC, a joint venture of DuPont Co. and BP Plc.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson in Wilmington, Delaware, found that some claims of one Butamax patent were invalid and that Butamax admitted that Gevo didn’t infringe another patent, according to court papers.

“There is no just reason for delay in entering final judgment” on those patent challenges, Robinson wrote yesterday after ruling two weeks ago on two patents. The entering of a final judgment allows Butamax to appeal.

The judge severed claims involving two other patents in continuing litigation between the two companies involving at least 15 different cases in the same court, according to court papers.

Butamax sued Gevo in 2011, alleging misuse of technology for genetically engineered microorganisms used to produce biofuels. Gevo is in a joint venture to make the chemicals with the oil refiner Total SA and specialty-chemicals maker Lanxess AG.

“Butamax strongly disagrees with the court’s claim construction” and has decided to appeal the case, said a company spokesman, Mark Buse.

The case is Butamax v. Gevo, 11-cv-00054, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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