Novozymes Asserts Glucoamylase Patents Against Enzyme Distributor

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

Last month Novozymes sued an Illinois enzyme distributor called CTE Global (CTE) in federal court in Chicago, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,255,084 (‘084 Patent) and 7,060,468 (‘468 Patent).

The ‘084 and ‘468 Patents are entitled “Thermostable glucoamylase” and are directed to an isolated glucoamylase enzyme which has higher thermal stability than prior glucoamylases.  The patents also claim starch conversion processes using the enzyme. 

Glucoamylases are used to convert hydrolyzed corn starch to glucose.

The patented enzyme was isolated, purified and characterized from a strain of Talaromyces emersonii, a thermophilic fungus.

According to the ‘084 and ‘468 Patents, the half-life of the isolated enzyme is between 100 and 140 minutes at 70 degrees Celsius, an improvement over prior art glucoamylases.

Novozymes’ complaint (Novozymes-CTE_Complaint) alleges that CTE’s glucoamylase products GLUCOAMYL L 706+ and GLUCOAMYL LG20, used for producing fuel ethanol, infringe the ‘084 and ‘468 Patents.

Novozymes is currently involved in another biofuels enzyme patent suit as well.  The company has asserted another enzyme patent against its Danish rival Danisco – U.S. Patent No. 7,713,723 – and survived a summary judgment motion challenging the validity of that patent.

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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.