There have been several green patent complaints filed in the pastÂ several weeks in the fields of biofuels, home electrical control systems, battery chargers, and LEDs.
Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC v. Gevo, Inc.
On March 12, 2012, Butamax filed suit against Gevo in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging infringement of one of its patents relating to the production of isobutanol with recombinant microorganisms. (Butamax-Gevo_Complaint_3-12-12).
The asserted patent is U.S. Patent No. 8,129,162, entitled â€œKetol-Acid Reductoisomerase using NADHâ€ (the â€˜162 patent).Â The â€˜162 patent discloses certain recombinant mutant ketol-acid reductoisomerase enzymes, commonly called â€œKARI Enzymesâ€.Â The KARI Enzymes disclosed in the â€˜162 Patent function efficiently in microbial systems designed to produce isobutanol.
Butamax alleges Gevo is making and using KARI Enzymes disclosed in the â€˜162 Patent.Â Butamax is seeking a judgmentÂ that Gevo is infringing the â€˜162 Patent, preliminary and permanent injunctions, and damages.
Gevo, Inc. v. Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC
On March 13, 2012, Gevo filed suit against Butamax in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware alleging Butamax infringed one of its patents related to the production of isobutanol.Â ThisÂ suit was filed the day after Butamax filed suit against Gevo, and on the same day Gevoâ€™s patent issued and adds to the growing litigation between these advanced biofuels rivals (see previous posts here, here and here.
The asserted patent is U.S. Patent No. 8,133,715, entitled â€œReduced By-Product Accumulation for Improved Production of Isobutanolâ€ (the â€˜715 Patent).Â According to the complaint (Gevo-Butamax_Complaint), the â€˜715 Patent describes â€œrecombinant isobutanol-producing microorganisms containing a disruption in the expression or activity of an endogenous 3-keto acid reductase activity and methods for producing isobutanol using such organisms.â€
Gevoâ€™s complaint alleges Butamax makes infringing microorganisms to produce isobutanol through deletion or inactivation of the YMR226c gene.Â Gevo claims Butamax describesÂ its infringing process in PCT Publication No. WO/2011/159853, entitled â€œRecombinant Host Cells Comprising Phosphoketolasesâ€.
Gevo is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions and damages.
Home Electrical Control Systems
Powerline Innovations, LLC v. Elk Products, Inc., et al.
Filed March 13, 2012 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, Powerlineâ€™s complaint (Powerline-Elk_Complaint)Â alleges defendants infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,471,190, entitled â€œMethod and Apparatus for Resource Allocation in a Communication Network Systemâ€ (the â€˜190 Patent).
According to the complaint, each defendant is accused of infringing the â€™190 Patent in products they sell â€œwhich employ methods for establishing control relationships between plural devices in a home electrical system covered by one or more claims of the â€˜190 Patent to the injury of [Powerline].â€
Voltstar Technologies, Inc. v. AT&T Operations, Inc, et. al.
The patents describe an energy saving battery charger that automatically shuts off when a device is fully charged or not plugged in, eliminating â€œvampire loadâ€.Â The charger is designed to reduce power consumption and extend battery life.
Voltstar is seekingÂ a permanent injunction and damages.
GE Lighting Solutions, LLC v. AgiLight, Inc.
The asserted patents are U.S. Patent Nos.:
7,160,140 entitled â€œLED String Light Engineâ€
7,520,771 entitled â€œLED String Light Engine and Devices that are Illuminated by the String Light Engineâ€
7,633,055 entitled â€œSealed Light Emitting Diode Assemblies Including Annular Gaskets and Method of Making Same”
7,832,896 entitled â€œLED Light Engineâ€
The patents relate toÂ various components of LED string lights.Â Â Some of theÂ components GE asserts are infringing include overmolded wire housings, flexible electrical connectors, several annular gaskets, and dome shaped optical element covers for LED’s.
GE is seekeing injuntive relief and damages.
Koninklinjke Phillips Electronics N.V.Â et al.Â v. Nexxus Lighting, Inc.
The asserted patents are U.S. Patent Nos.:
6,013,988 entitled “Circuit Arrangement and Signalling Light Provided With the Circuit Arrangement”;
6,250,774 entitled “Luminaire”;
7,038,399 entitled “Methods and Apparatus for Providing Power to Lighting Devices”;
7,358,679 entitled “Dimmable LED-Based MR16 Lighting Apparatus and Methods”;
7,737,643 entitled “LED Power Control Methods and Apparatus”; and
7,802,902 entitled “LED Lighting Fixtures”
The accused products are Nexxus’ PAR 30, PAR38, R30, MR16, MR16-HO, R16-GU10 products.Â Phillips is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions and damages.
David Gibbs is a contributor to Green Patent Blog.Â David is currently in his third and final year at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.Â He received his undergraduate degree in Geology from the University of California, Berkeley.