Butamax and Gevo Grapple With Biofuels Patent Case Claims

Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC said a federal judge dismissed a patent-infringement case filed against it by rival Gevo Inc., while Gevo said today the dismissal is temporary and other cases continue.

Butamax, a joint venture of DuPont Co. and BP Plc based in Wilmington, Delaware, denies using the patented technology, Chief Executive Officer Paul Beckwith said in a statement today.

Gevo “has agreed to temporarily dismiss its lawsuit” because Butamax at the present time doesn’t have a chemical plant in which to infringe, according to a statement from Gevo Executive Vice President Brett Lund.

Gevo, based in Englewood, Colorado, is a joint venture to make specialty chemicals with the oil refiner Total SA and Lanxess AG.

Claims in the patent suit were dismissed and Gevo can’t refile the complaint against Butamax “until a final certificate of reexamination is issued” by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, wrote U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson in an order May 6 in Wilmington.

At least 13 patent cases have been filed by Butamax and Gevo against each other since 2011, according to court electronic records.

The case is Gevo v. Butamax, 12-cv-00070, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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