Issue Date: March 19, 2012
Gevo, Butamax Patent Fight Drags On
Gevo and Butamax, two producers of biobased isobutyl alcohol, have filed new patent infringement lawsuits against each other. Butamax is a joint venture between DuPont and BP. Gevo and Butamax each claim to have patents covering modified enzymes that optimize production of isobutyl alcohol from sugar via fermentation by proprietary microbes. In the latest salvo of the dispute, Butamax filed a patent infringement lawsuit on March 12 against Gevo for using a family of recombinant enzymes called KARI, and Gevo immediately countersued. Butamax says the KARI enzyme performs the second step of the pathway that is fundamental to achieving high isobutyl alcohol yield.
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