GreenShift Adds Another Ethanol Patent Infringement Suit to the Mix

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A previous post discussed GreenShift Corporation’s (GreenShift) volley of recent patent suits against a host of ethanol producers across the midwestern United States. 

In those lawsuits GreenShift accused various ethanol producers of infringing U.S. Patent No. 7,601,858 (‘858 Patent), entitled “Method of processing ethanol byproducts and related subsystems.” 

Last month GreenShift added another infringement action to the mix when it sued an Illinois company called Adkins Energy, which runs an ethanol production facility.  The complaint (gs-adkins_complaint.pdf) was filed in the Northern District of Illinois and accuses Adkins of infringing the ‘858 Patent.

The ‘858 Patent is directed to methods of recovering oil from byproducts of ethanol production using the process of dry milling, which creates a waste stream comprised of byproducts called whole stillage.

According to the ‘858 Patent, whole stillage contains valuable oil but prior processes for recovering this oil have been expensive or inefficient.

GS’s patented method includes mechanically separating the whole stillage into distillers wet grains and thin stillage and then running the thin stillage into an evaporator to form a concentrated byproduct, or syrup.  The syrup is fed through a second centrifuge, which separates usable corn oil from the syrup.

This latest complaint brings the total to at least ten patent infringement actions brought by GreenShift, all involving allegations of infringing the ‘858 Patent. 

Defendants in the other cases include Cardinal Ethanol, Big River Resources Galva, Amaizing Energy Atlantic, Center Ethanol, Bushmills Ethanol, United Wisconsin Grain Producers, Blue Flint Ethanol and Iroquois Bio-Energy.

Eric Lane Avatar

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.