Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gevo hitches its wagon to Teva on patent claim construction

Gevo filed an 8K on July 14, 2014 relating to a cert petition:

On July 11, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (the "District Court") granted a motion by Gevo, Inc. (the "Company") to stay the patent litigation action brought by Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC (" Butamax") involving U.S. Patent Nos. 7,851,188 and 7,993,889. The District Court's decision postpones the trial in this action, which was scheduled to begin on July 21, 2014. The decision by the District Court was based on the status of the Company's petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court (the "Supreme Court"). The Supreme Court has neither granted nor denied the Company's petition, but appears to be holding the petition pending its decision in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., a case that could change the Federal Circuit's standard of review of district court claim construction, and could ultimately negate any jury verdict obtained under the current interpretation of the patent claims.

Note that this relates to patent infringement cases brought by patentee Butamax against Gevo related to Butamax patents 7,851,188 and 7,993,889.

In the Teva case, patentee Teva seeks Supreme Court review of a CAFC decision finding claims of Teva patents invalid for indefiniteness. Note in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 2120 (2014) the standard for negating patentability due to indefiniteness was lowered by the Supreme Court.

Depending upon the outcome of the Teva case, Gevo might obtain a GVR (grant-vacate-remand) from the Supreme Court.

link for 8K: http://biz.yahoo.com/e/140714/gevo8-k.html

In terms of the '188 and '889 patents, Gevo described its win in the following way:

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - March 21, 2013 - Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ: GEVO), announced today that a judgment of non-infringement will be entered for Gevo following the acknowledgment by Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC (Butamax) that Gevo does not infringe Butamax's asserted patents under the Court's construction of a key claim term in Butamax's Patent Nos. 7,851,188 and 7,993,889. As a result of this victory, a judgment of non-infringement will be entered in Gevo's favor and the trial scheduled for April 1st will no longer take place.


BUT, Butamax conceded infringement specifically to take the claim construction (which relates to NADPH dependent enzymes) to appeal to the CAFC, where Butamax won. The CAFC had earlier telegraphed its problems with the claim construction of D. Delaware, so the Butamax course of action was quite foreseeable. This history is significantly different from the Teva Sandoz matter. Any suggestion that the reversals by the CAFC in the Teva and Gevo cases are analogous is incorrect. [Separately, the reversal in Teva was as to invalidity; that in Gevo related to infringement.]

This was earlier discussed in IPBiz. See
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit hands Gevo a big loss in the Butamax/Gevo patent wars

As to Gevo suing Butamax, note the IPBiz post
Overreaching in patent claims dooms Gevo in district court. No infringement because of estoppel and invalidity through lack of enablement.

Separately from American Banking:

Gevo (NASDAQ:GEVO) COO Christopher Michael Ryan unloaded 1,042 shares of Gevo stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $0.74, for a total transaction of $771.08. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 367,527 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $271,970. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

GEVO has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Analysts at Cowen and Company cut their price target on shares of Gevo to $1.00 in a research note on Friday, May 16th. Analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of Gevo from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 8th. They now have a $1.30 price target on the stock.

Gevo (NASDAQ:GEVO) opened at 0.7211 on Tuesday. Gevo has a one year low of $0.71 and a one year high of $2.18. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $0.86 and a 200-day moving average of $1.11. The company’s market cap is $48.9 million.


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