Novozymes Asserts Ethanol Production Enzyme Patent Against Danisco

Novozymes is a Danish biopharmaceutical company that develops enzymes for a variety of applications, including for use in production of biofuels.

The ink had barely dried on the company’s newly-issued U.S. Patent No. 7,713,723 (‘723 Patent) when Novozymes sued its Danish rival Danisco, along with Genencor International Wisconsin, for patent infringement.

The ‘723 Patent is entitled “Alpha amylase mutants with altered properties” and is directed to variants of certain alpha amylases that exhibit altered stability under high temperatures, low pH and other conditions.  The patented variants can be used for starch conversion in ethanol production.

According to the complaint (novozymes_complaint.pdf), filed in the Western District of Wisconsin, the defendants are infringing the ‘723 Patent by selling alpha amylase enzymes including Danisco’s GC358 product.

This is not the first time these Danish rivals have litigated a patent relating to enzymes for ethanol production.  In 2007, Danisco paid Novozymes $15.3 million to settle a lawsuit involving alleged infringement of a patent for the enzyme spezyme ethyl.

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Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.