Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC v. Gevo, Inc., C.A. Nos. 12-1036 - SLR; Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC v. Gevo, Inc., C.A. No. 12-1200 - SLR ; Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC v. Gevo, Inc., C.A. No. 12-1300 – SLR, August 3, 2015
Robinson, J. Defendant’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity is granted. Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment of infringement is denied. Defendant’s cross-motion for summary judgment of non-infringement of claim 3 of one patent and no willful infringement is granted.
The disputed technology relates to commercial methods to produce isobutanol using biological methods.The court finds that two claims are indefinite. Based on the broad and ambiguous language of the prosecution history, the court finds that the conclusory assertions of plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Bonneau, are not commonsensible. The court found, consistent with the explanation of defendant’s expert, Dr. Eddy, multiple methods were available for the performance of sequence alignment and calculation of “% identity.” Because the claims are indefinite and invalid, they are not infringed. With respect to a different set of patents, the court finds that the disagreement between the experts of whether one skilled in the art could practice the invention without undue experimentation, whether the inventors had possession of the invention, and whether defendant’s strains infringe the asserted claims present factual questions better left to the jury. With respect to willfulness, defendant prevailed as to indefiniteness, and raised credible and reasonable theories supported by experts regarding non-infringement. Summary judgment as to willfulness is denied.