Gevo Awarded Patent for Further Improvement in Efficiency of Its Proprietary Process for Bio-Based Production of Isobutanol
Gevo Sues Butamax, DuPont and BP for Infringement of New Patent
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - July 31, 2012 - Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO) has been awarded an additional patent covering further improvements in the efficiency of bio-based production of isobutanol. The new patent extends Gevo's lead over competitors in technological innovations that enable commercially viable production of bio-based isobutanol at costs far lower than alternative technologies.
Gevo also filed lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Marshall, Texas charging infringement of the new patent by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) (NYSE: DD), BP p.l.c. (NYSE: BP), and their joint venture, ButamaxTM Advanced Biofuels, LLC (Butamax).
Gevo is a leading renewable chemicals and next-generation biofuels company. With this new patent award, Gevo has 11 patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) with approximately 400 additional patent applications.
The USPTO today awarded Gevo U.S Patent No. 8,232,089 ('089 Patent) covering a bio-engineered pathway that utilizes DHADs (dihydroxyacid dehydratases) to improve the efficiency of isobutanol production in the yeast.
"The naturally occurring pathway in yeast produces only trace amounts of isobutanol," said Brett Lund, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. "Gevo has discovered and patented a series of changes in the yeast pathway - including the newly awarded '089 Patent - that eliminate unwanted byproducts and improves the efficiency of isobutanol production in yeast. Taken together, these technological advancements enable a process efficiency exceeding 90%, compared with less than 1% in the naturally occurring pathway in yeast."
"Gevo's intellectual property is a strategic asset that we will continue to protect," said Lund. "We will vigorously challenge infringement by competitors who illegally make use of our patented technologies to overcome their own technological deficiencies." Butamax has publicly disclosed its use of Gevo's technology in its own patent application, said Lund.
"Butamax has been attempting to reach demonstration-scale production of isobutanol for several years now," said Lund. "However, our scientists realized from the beginning the importance of increasing pathway efficiencies and recognized that to produce commercially relevant levels of isobutanol one must use the technology covered by our patents. We've proven this in the successful startup of our commercial-scale, renewable isobutanol facility in Luverne, Minn."
Gevo is converting existing ethanol plants into biorefineries to make renewable building block products for the chemical and fuel industries. The Company plans to convert renewable raw materials into isobutanol and renewable hydrocarbons that can be directly integrated on a "drop in" basis into existing chemical and fuel products to deliver environmental and economic benefits. Gevo is committed to a sustainable biobased economy that meets society's needs for plentiful food and clean air and water. For more information, visit www.gevo.com
Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements that are not purely statements of historical fact, and can sometimes be identified by our use of terms such as "intend," "expect," "plan," "estimate," "future," "strive" and similar words. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Gevo and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although the company believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Gevo in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Gevo for the year ended December 31, 2011, as amended, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Gevo.
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