USPTO Affirms Key Claims of Gevo's "AFT" Patent
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., May 03, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), a leading renewable chemicals and next generation biofuels company, commented on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) decision to deny a Butamax(TM) Advanced Biofuels, LLC (Butamax) request to reexamine key claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,017,376 ('376 Patent), "Methods of Increasing Dihydroxy Acid Dehydratase Activity to Improve Production of Fuels, Chemicals and Amino Acids" or AFT patent.
"We are extremely pleased with the USPTO's decision to uphold key claims of our '376 Patent," said Brett Lund, Gevo's EVP and General Counsel. "The USPTO only adopted a fraction of Butamax's proposed rejections and simultaneously upheld the validity of claims we believe Butamax is infringing. Despite Butamax's statements to the contrary, this decision is a significant win for Gevo, and bolsters our pending infringement case against Butamax."
"Importantly, the USPTO's decision means that Butamax is now prohibited from asserting that Gevo's upheld claims are invalid during litigation. As evidenced by Butamax's own publications, we are confident that they are infringing our '376 Patent and we look forward to proving that in court," added Lund.
The '376 Patent covers a necessary modification for improving the activity of an enzymatic step in Gevo's unique isobutanol pathway. While Butamax has publicly chastised Gevo's lawsuit as "frivolous," Gevo believes Butamax chose to challenge the '376 Patent because it is a modification strictly required for achieving commercially relevant production of isobutanol in yeast.
Butamax also filed a request for reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 8,101,808 ('808 Patent) covering Gevo's foundational separation technology that provides enhanced fermentation performance and low-cost, energy-efficient isobutanol recovery or GIFTR technology. "Butamax has merely requested reexamination which hasn't yet been granted. Similar to the '376 Patent, we are confident that our claims will withstand this challenge," said Lund.
"We expect the breadth and strength of our patent estate to expand rapidly over the coming months," continued Lund. "With this success come challenges to protect our intellectual property as we continue to be on the forefront of producing isobutanol for the commercial sector."
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 http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gevo.com&esheet=50265019&lan=en-US&anchor=www.gevo.com&index=1&md5=f9d6ea3b6a35b6aba24fc065d23bb598
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, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Gevo.
SOURCE: Gevo, Inc.