Danisco DJ Revived; Pre-Issuance Conduct Counts in “War Over Patents”

April 15th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

previous post discussed the dismissal of Danisco‘s declaratory judgment action against its rival Novozymes.  As described by the San Francisco district court decision, the Danish companies are “reputedly the two major competitors in the field of developing and supplying industrial enzymes used in the process of converting corn into ethanol fuel.”

Danisco’s lawsuit sought a judgment that the company’s Rapid Starch Liquefaction (RSL) alpha-amylase products did not infringe Novozymes’s U.S. Patent No. 8,252,573 (’573 Patent) and that the ’573 Patent is invalid.

The ’573 Patent  is entitled “Alpha-amylase variant with altered properties” and is directed to an isolated variant polypeptide having alpha amylase activity and containing a proline substitution at position 188 (to yield a variant called “E188P”).

In the alternative, Danisco asked the court for a determination that its own U.S. Patent No. 8,084,240 (’240 Patent) has priority over the ’573 Patent.  The ’240 Patent is entitled “Geobacillus stearothermophilus alpha-amylase (AMYS) variants with improved properties” and directed to an isolated variant of a truncated Geobacillus stearothermophilus enzyme also containing the proline substitution at position 188.

Novozymes had added the position 188 proline substitution to a claim late in prosecution of the application that issued as the ’573 Patent after learning that Danisco’s ’240 Patent would be granted with such a claim.

Although the district court conceded that the circumstances might reasonably suggest that Novozymes wanted to enforce the ’573 Patent against Danisco at some point, it held that events occurring prior to patent grant alone cannot support declaratory judgment jurisdiction.

Danisco appealed the district court decision dismissing the case, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently reversed the lower court, holding there was an actual controversy and that the DJ action could be sustained.

The appeals court made clear that the distinction between a patentee’s activities before and after a patent issues is not significant to a DJ analysis that is supposed to be flexible:

The district court’s categorical distinction between pre- and post-issuance conduct is . . . irreconcilable with the Supreme Court’s insistence on applying a flexible totality of circumstances test, its rejection of technical bright line rules, and our own precedent.  Contrary to the district court’s stated view, we have never held that “pre-issuance conduct” cannot constitute an affirmative act . . .

The Federal Circuit found “the record demonstrates that a definite and concrete patent dispute exists” between the parties, based on Novozymes’s actions and statements about the Danisco enzyme product before and after its ’573 Patent issued:

Novozymes has insisted on multiple occasions that its ’573 patent claim reads on the BSG alpha-amylase with an E188P mutation, which is the active compound in Danisco’s RSL products and is claimed in Novozymes’s patent.  The record shows that Novozymes sought its patent because it believed that Danisco’s products would infringe once the claim issued.

Significantly, the court of appeals observed that the parties have clearly staked out opposing legal positions on the patent rights at issue:

Novozymes twice asserted that Danisco’s ’240 patent was invalid and that Novozymes, not Danisco, is entitled to a patent on the claimed BSG E188P alpha-amylase invention.  Danisco has taken a legal position that is entirely opposed to the position taken by Novozymes, viz., that Danisco successfully prosecuted and obtained the ’240 patent, that it is the rightful owner of the claimed invention, and that its RSL products do not infringe the claim of Novozymes’s ’573 patent.

In light of all the circumstances, including previous litigation and Novozymes’ conduct prior to issuance of the ’573 Patent, the Federal Circuit held that there is declaratory judgment jurisdiction here:

Novozymes has twice sued Danisco or its predecessors in interest for patent infringement regarding related liquefaction products.  The parties have plainly been at war over patents involving genetically modified alpha-amylase enzymes and are likely to be for the foreseeable future.  They thus have adverse legal interests over a dispute of sufficient reality that is capable of conclusive resolution through a declaratory judgment.

San Diego Clean Tech Open Biz Briefing to Highlight Eco-marks and Green Patent Perspectives

April 7th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

If you’re in or around San Diego this week be sure to check out the Clean Tech Open Business Briefing this Thursday, April 10th.

The Cleantech Open is a non-profit organization that runs the world’s largest cleantech accelerator.  The Business Accelerator fosters promising startups in cleantech fields through a six-month program that includes cutting-edge entrepreneur training and mentoring (including in IP!), client and partner opportunities, and funding connections.

The business briefings bring together Clean Tech Open members and staff and early-stage clean tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.  Attendees will get an overview of the Cleantech Open and the Business Accelerator.

I will be speaking on some broad themes about the role of patents in the clean tech industry.  Entitled “Green Patents and Green Branding:  Global Perspectives and News You Can Use,” my talk will cover a range of big picture stuff and practical info on green patenting and protecting eco-marks.

The event will be held at the World Resources SimCenter in downtown San Diego from 6:00-8:00 PM.  You can find more information about the event and register here.

In Legal Industry First, GLA McKenzie Long & Hugeo Opens Antarctica Office

April 1st, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

GLA McKenzie Long & Hugeo announced today the opening of an Antarctica office.  The new office is the firm’s 683rd location, following yesterday’s opening of an outpost in the Kufra basin and oasis group in the Sahara desert.  GLA is the first law firm to open an office in Antarctica.

Located in the prestigious Coats Land region of East Antarctica, the office will provide the firm’s clients and staff with easy access to the Shackleton Range, the Filchner Ice Shelf, and of course, the South Pole.

The office will be headed by Winchell Cooke, a partner in the firm’s Environmental Law practice group who will relocate from Nuuk, Greenland.   Cooke, who billed 198 hours in 2013 and has $207,412.51 in A/R from the last two years, could not be reached for comment.

“We are extremely pleased to be the first international law firm to open an office in Antarctica,” said GLA Managing Partner Thaddeus “Chip” Buckley.  ”Our Antarctica practice has grown substantially over the past few weeks, particularly in the areas of environmental law, climate change, maritime law, and dogsled expedition law, and having GLA lawyers in Coats Land will allow us to more efficiently and effectively serve both our locally based clients and our international clients doing business in Antarctica.”

“Our firm offers its clients unparalleled global reach,” he added.

GLA has had a vibrant polar practice for more than two weeks.  With at least three lawyers who do cross-country skiing (including one associate also adept at snow-shoeing), the firm offers a talented and deep team of ice-ready attorneys.

 

“Unparalleled Global Reach”

This is likely to be just the first step for GLA in Antarctica, the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America.  Buckley said the firm is looking to add another office in West Antarctica very soon, and is scouting locations in Palmer Land along the Antarctic Peninsula.

Don’t rule out the North Pole either, Buckley said.  The combination would fit well with the firm’s culture because many GLA lawyers exhibit behavior that is “clinically bipolar.”

GLA Managing Partner Chip Buckley and members of the firm’s Strategic Growth Committee visit potential office space in East Antarctica.

GLA is the world’s largest law firm, with over 80,000 lawyers worldwide, and has gone on an explosive growth spree in the last few years, acquiring more than 450 smaller firms.

We caught up with Buckley as he concluded a conference call with GLA’s 692 practice group chairs.  He told Green Patent Blog that the recent expansion by GLA highlights a major advantage of the firm:  its “unparalleled global reach.”  According to Buckley, that has been very attractive to clients as GLA has been able to maintain and add thousands of clients during its recent period of rampant acquisitions.

 

“A Dizzying Array of Options for Getting Around Conflicts”

While mergers and acquisitions often create conflict problems that lead to lost clients and missed engagement opportunities for global law firms, Buckley said GLA has been able to avoid those issues.  The solution for GLA has been to organize the firm under an innovative Bulgarian corporate structure called a Melaeighn (pronounced “malign”).  With 19 offices in Bulgaria, GLA has the legal right to operate as a domestic Melaeighn.

Advantageously for GLA, a Melaeighn allows all of the firm’s offices to be governed by Bulgarian legal ethics rules.  While those rules allow lawyers substantial flexibility in resolving conflicts between and among client matters handled by different offices, the key advantage, according to Buckley, is that the Bulgarian legal ethics rules have a liberal choice of law provision that allows the law firm to operate pursuant to the most lax legal conflict rule of all the jurisdictions the firm is operating in.

“With nearly 700 offices in over 180 jurisdictions, our attorneys have a dizzying array of options for getting around conflicts.  We basically have license to do anything we want in terms of representing adverse parties, even in concurrent litigation and transactions.”  Buckley said.

“It’s like Christmas every day!” said a partner in the firm’s highly lucrative Intellectual Property department who did not wish to be named.

While the flexibility in avoiding conflict issues is a boon for GLA lawyers, some legal industry analysts questioned whether clients might be displeased with the prospect of their counsel suing them on behalf of their direct competitors.

Buckley brushed off the concern.  ”We’re confident that current and prospective clients will conclude that the advantage of being represented by the largest and most prestigious law firm in the world outweighs any potential loyalty issues.”  He added that GLA has “unparalleled global reach.”

 

“Informed Consent Through Our LAWDICK”

“Besides,” Buckley said, “we provide full disclosure and always obtain informed consent through our legitimate advance waiver of disloyalty-induced conflict contract (LAWDICK) provision, which I ordered to be inserted into all of our engagement letters.  The LAWDICK is a neat little trick we picked up from the legal conflict rules in Zimbabwe,” where GLA has nine offices.

Standard in GLA engagement letters, the LAWDICK requires a client to waive any conflicts that would arise by the firm taking engagements adverse to the client and applies both retroactively and prospectively.

Buckley was coy about the language of the LAWDICK provision, but Green Patent Blog was able to obtain a copy of the firm’s standard engagement letter from an unnamed source.  (Literally.  For administrative efficiency, GLA has stripped its associates of names and identities in favor of an internal numbering system.  The engagement letter was provided to us by Associate No. 52,961).

An excerpt of GLA’s cutting edge LAWDICK is reproduced below:

GLA McKenzie Long & Hugeo is a law firm of tens of thousands of lawyers and non-lawyer professionals in over 180 jurisdictions around the world and is involved in all kinds of business dealings, negotiations, and disputes with other clients of the firm.  In consideration of GLA’s acceptance of this engagement, the Client agrees that GLA may, in the past, present, or future, and throughout all time, anywhere in the Universe, represent existing or new clients in any matter relating to the Client, including, without limitation, litigation against the Client, negotiations directly or indirectly adverse to the Client or the Client’s interests, even if substantially related to this representation or any other matters GLA has had, currently has, or will have with the Client.  The Client further agrees that GLA may represent direct competitors of the client in matters directly or indirectly adverse to the Client or the Client’s interests and/or may represent employees, officers, affiliates or subsidiaries of the Client in matters directly or indirectly adverse to the Client.  The Client waives any and all rights to object to any such matter as described above.  This waiver notwithstanding, the Client agrees that GLA is completely and utterly loyal to the Client and will always act as a zealous advocate for the Client (unless of course another engagement comes along that could generate higher fees for GLA than those generated by working on matters for the Client).  Any questioning of GLA’s loyalty to the Client by the Client will be deemed a material breach of this agreement and will be grounds for termination of this agreement.

In any event, it seems clear that GLA will continue to grow and will be the largest international law firm for a long time to come.  Buckley told us that he is committed to exponential growth as he emphasized the firm’s “unparalleled global reach.”

He views the expansion as a major part of his legacy as managing partner.  ”That, and the firm LAWDICK inserted at my insistence.”

Even with 682 other locations, Buckley said he is particularly proud of the new Antarctica office and summed up its significance for the firm:

“These days there may be other international law firms that can say the sun never sets on their offices, but GLA is the only firm that can say the ice never melts on our offices.”

“Plus,” he added, “GLA provides unparalleled global reach.”

Who Owns All the Smart Grid Patents? New Study Reveals Answer

March 25th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

Ever wonder who owns all the smart grid patents?  With all of the acquisitions in smart grid (see, e.g., here and here), it seems a lot of folks have been considering the question.

A recent study by patent analytics firm Relecura on smart grid patent holders seeks to answer this question.  It turns out the top five are ABB, GE, Panasonic, Siemens, and Toshiba:

The study breaks out the results by six sub-technology categories (communications, software, smart meters, sensors, substation automation, and distribution automation) and lists the top large entities and SMEs in each subcategory:

The full report, which can be found here, styles itself a “preliminary survey of the Smart Grid assignee landscape and first-cut identification of patent asset holders in Smart Grid technology.”

According to Relecura, the purpose of the study is to identify potential licensees and acquisitions targets for each of the sub-technologies.  The study uses 2008 as a reference year, and defines its Potential Licensees and Potential Acquisitions Targets relative to that year.

More particularly, Potential Licensees are entities whose patent applications were filed in 2008 or later while Potential Acquisitions Targets are typically small or medium sized entities with granted patents from applications filed in 2008 or earlier.  In other words, small companies and SMEs with relatively mature patent portfolios are deemed more ripe for acquisition and those with younger patent portfolios are thought to be more amenable to licensing IP.

With so much activity in smart grid M&A, this report could be useful to a lot of people.

Butamax Wins on Appeal as Federal Circuit Reverses Enzyme Claim Construction

March 18th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

There’s been another big twist in the biobutanol battle between BP-DuPont joint venture Butamax and Gevo, its arch rival in advanced biofuels.

A previous post discussed the district court’s ruling granting Gevo’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement under the doctrine of equivalents of two Butamax patents - U.S. Patent Nos. 7,993,889 (’889 Patent) and  7,851,188 (’188 Patent).  The district also denied both parties’ motions on literal infringement and reached split decisions on validity of the patents.

Butamax appealed, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently vacated both the grant of Gevo’s motion for summary judgement of non-infringement and the denial of Butamax’s motion for summary judgment.

The ’889 and ’188 Patents are both entitled “Fermentive production of four carbon alcohols” and directed to a more cost efficient method of producing isobutanol directly from pyruvate via a particular production pathway using recombinant microbial host cells.

The patented processes use an enzyme called KARI, which needs a cofactor that donates electrons to enable it to catalyze a reaction.  Based on statements in the patents, the district court had interpreted the claims to require a KARI defined with respect to the NADPH cofactor only.

The crux of the Federal’s Circuit’s decision was its holding that the district court erred in its claim construction, specifically concluding that the lower court got it wrong when it interpreted the claim term “acetohydroxy acid isomeroreductase”, i.e., KARI, to mean an enzyme that is solely NADPH dependent.

The Federal Circuit found that the plain meaning of the term KARI does not in itself impose any limitation on the cofactor or the source of electrons needed for the reaction.

In addition, the appeals court found that nothing in the patents limited the definition of KARI to being only NADPH dependent:

The patent’s definition at least excludes as-yet-undiscovered KARI enzymes that could catalyze conversion of AL to DHIV without using NADPH at all.  Moreover, the description of specific types of KARI as NADPH-dependent does not clearly express an intent to redefine all KARI “using NADPH” as KARI that must be NADPH-dependent.

Ultimately, the Federal Circuit made its own determination on claim construction, defining “acetohydroxy acid isomeroreductase” by its enzyme classification number and catalytic activity:

[T]he term “acetohydroxy acid reductisomerase” is construed as “an enzyme, whether naturally occurring or otherwise, known by the EC number 1.1.1.86 that catalyzes the conversion of acetolactate to 2,3-dihydroxyisovalerate.”

Therefore, the appeals court vacated the denial of Butamax’s motion for summary judgment of infringement because the lower court now has to consider the question of whether Gevo’s enzymes infringe the patents-in-suit under the broader claim construction.

Interestingly, this case previously went up to the Federal Circuit on appeal of a preliminary injunction decision, and the appeals court at the time warned the district court to reconsider its claim construction of the disputed term.

As to validity of the Butamax patents, the Federal Circuit reviewed the record and found sufficient evidence – in the form of expert testimony and scientific publications – to create a genuine issue of fact that the ’889 Patent meets the written description requirement because those of skill in the art know how to deactivate the genes that express the claimed pathway.

So the case will go back down to the district court for another round on infringement and validity.

Green Patent Fast Track Opens in Taiwan

March 11th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

It’s been a while since a national intellectual property office has seen fit to open a fast lane for green technology patent applications.  So the recent announcement out of Taiwan is welcome news.

The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) now includes green technology as a new category of application or invention eligible for expedited examination under TIPO’s existing Accelerated Examination Program (AEP).

TIPO is defining green technologies broadly (as I have argued is important for boosting participation in these programs); the application is eligible if the invention is:

  • related to energy saving, new energy or automobiles powered by new energy;
  • related to energy saving and carbon reduction

One drawback of TIPO’s fast track program is its publication requirement; to qualify for the AEP a patent application must have published before the applicant makes the AEP request.

Because Taiwan is not a PCT contracting state (i.e., it does not participate in the international patent application system), non-Taiwanese applicants must file their applications in TIPO within one year of their original home country filing date.  And because patent applications typically publish 18 months after their original filing date, that means non-Taiwanese applicants must wait an extra six months or so after filing their application in Taiwan to request expedited examination there.

The TIPO fee for accelerated examination of a green technology patent application is NT$4000 (about $134 USD), and the applicant need only submit a written request explaining that the invention in the subject patent application relates to green technology.

The time saved under the AEP is substantial.  According to this article, it takes about 29 months to receive a first office action during ordinary examination in TIPO; under the AEP TIPO issues a first office action in about nine months.

In Memoriam: IP, Innovation, and Environmental Scholar Sarah Tran

March 9th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

I am very sad to report that Sarah Tran, a professor at SMU’s Dedman School of Law, passed away on February 28th from complications from leukemia.  She was 34 years old.

Sarah was an important patent scholar, as detailed here in a recent Patently-O blog post and was a very dedicated teacher, even while battling her illness.

Significantly for readers of this blog, Sarah was among the first (and few) patent scholars to analyze and critique the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Green Technology Pilot Program, calling for the program to be made either long-term or permanent (see her article, Expediting Innovation, here and my post on an early draft here).

In addition, with Peter Menell, Sarah co-edited a compilation on the interplay of intellectual property, innovation and environmental protection entitled Intellectual Property, Innovation, and the Environment, which comes out later this month in the United States.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah and her family when I was in Dallas for a conference a couple of years ago.  As I branched out to academic writing and publishing, Sarah was very encouraging and provided valuable advice.

I was glad to have had the opportunity to help her a little bit by recording a guest lecture for one of her classes when she was in the hospital last year.

This is a huge loss for everyone who knew her both personally and professionally; she will be deeply missed (see more on her life here).

Sarah’s family has asked that you consider making a contribution to the fund created to support her two young children, the Tran Children Development Fund.

Chinese Eco-mark Lawsuit Ends Well for Tesla

March 4th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

A previous post reported on Tesla’s Chinese trademark problem.  Apparently, a businessman named Zhan Baosheng had registered the TESLA (or “Te Si La” transliterated) trademark in China, blocking  the American automaker from using the mark there.

Mr. Zhan was also operating a web site using the Tesla China domain (www.teslamotors.com.cn), and operating a Tesla-branded account on the Chinese microblog site Sina Weibo.

As part of a recent press release announcing its plan for growth in China the company said it resolved the trademark issue.  More particularly, Tesla obtained a court decision granting it the right to use the TESLA mark in China (see the story here on Green Car Reports and covered by Clean Technica here).

Veronica Wu, Tesla’s vice president for China operations, said the company had won this right without the need to pay Mr. Zhan (who had apparently hinted that he would sell the trademark for millions of dollars).  According to Wu, “we went to court and won.”

Though technically Zhan may have been the first user of the TESLA mark in China, the court decision seems right because his apparent high asking price for the mark signals bad faith on his part and that his use may not have been bona fide.

This decision bodes well for American and other non-Chinese companies who may need to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights against local competitors in China.

The highest profile clean tech IP dispute in China is the trade secrets and copyright case between American Superconductor and Chinese turbine manufacturer Sinovel, which made it all the way to, and is (as far as I know) still pending in, the Chinese Supreme Court.

On Green Patenting, Sewage Sludge, and EPA Rulings and Regulations

February 25th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

Environmental regulations can, of course, impact the development and implementation of green technologies.  This can happen on an industry level, for example, when automobile fuel efficiency technology is improved in response to rising CAFE standards.

It can also happen on a smaller scale and affect one company at a time, such as MaxWest Environmental Systems (Maxwest), which has developed gasification technology to break down sewage sludge.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently ruled that MaxWest’s patented gasifier is not an incinerator and therefore will not be regulated as such.  According to the company, this means the technology can be developed and implemented at a lower cost to municipalities (see the press release here).

MaxWest owns at least one patent and one published patent application relating to its gasification technology.  U.S. Application Publication No. 2013/0195727 (’727 Application) is entitled “Fluidized bed biogasifier and method for gasifying biosolids” and directed to a gasifier and methods of gasifying biosolids obtained from sewage sludge.

A fluid bed gasifier (200) includes a bubbling reactor bed section (204) which receives sewage sludge through feed inlets (201) and flue gas through a flue gas inlet (203).  The gasifier has a freeboard section (205) between the reactor bed section (204) and the outlet (210) of the gasifier.

 

A cyclone separator (207) separates material exhausted from the fluidized bed reactor into clean producer gas for recovery and ash for disposal.  An oxygen monitor (209) may be used to help control oxygen levels in the gasification process together with a producer gas control (208), which monitors oxygen and carbon monoxide levels in the producer gas.

It appears that the control of oxygen levels was critical to the EPA ruling.  According to the ’727 Application, the biogasification process occurs in an “oxygen starved environment” which prevents combustion.  Because there is no combustion, the gasifier is not classified as an incinerator.

An older gasifier technology is described and claimed in MaxWest’s U.S. Patent No. 7,793,601 (’601 Patent), issued in 2010 from an application filed back in 2005.   The ’601 Patent is entitled “Side feed/centre ash dump system” and directed to an apparatus for gasifying solid fuel where the biomass feed material is introduced into the primary oxidation chamber (400) through in opening (408) in the side of a wall (402) or in the floor of the chamber (400).

The wall (402) has multiple layers, and the innermost layer (405) is made of a high-temperature refractory material capable of withstanding elevated temperatures.  According to the ’601 Patent, the wall (402) is therefore capable of allowing oxidation of biomass while maintaining a tolerable skin temperature on the outside of the wall.

More Green Patent PR: Aphios Announces Grant of Cellulosic Biomass Patent

February 18th, 2014 by Eric Lane No comments »

Readers of this blog know that I have a soft spot for patent PR, particularly green patent PR (see, e.g., here and here).  So I’m always interested in covering announcements by green tech companies about their patents.

Aphios, a Massachusetts company that develops technology for cellulosic biomass conversion, recently put out a press release announcing the grant of U.S. Patent No. 8,540,847 (’847 Patent).

Entitled “Methods and apparatus for processing cellulosic biomass,” the ’847 Patent is directed to methods and apparatus for making ethanol or other biofuels using what Aphios calls its Aosic process.

The apparatus (11) described and claimed in the patent comprises a first vessel (13) for receiving cellulosic biomass and conveying means (15) in fluid communication with the first vessel (13).  The apparatus (11) also comprises supercritical, critical, or near critical fluid means (17), which includes a source of gas, such as gas tank (41), holding carbon dioxide pressurized to form supercritical, critical, or near critical fluid.

The fluid means (17) is in fluid communication with conveying means (15) via conduit (31).  A pump (47) is connected to a heat exchanger (55), which controls the temperature of the supercritical, critical, or near critical fluid.

The cellulosic biomass is loaded into the first vessel (13) and becomes laden with the supercritical, critical, or near critical fluid.  Discharge means (21) is in fluid communication with the conveying means (15) for receiving cellulosic biomass laden with the supercritical, critical, or near critical gas and discharging  the gas to form a disrupted cellulosic biomass.

A second vessel assembly (23) may include a hydrolysis vessel (23a) and a fermentation vessel (23b) for further processing of the cellulosic biomass.  Discharge means (21), including a discharge pipe (71) is connected to a turbine (73), which captures the kinetic energy of the expanding gas.  The turbine (73) is coupled to an electric generator to recover and recycle energy from the process.

According to the press release, contacting the cellulosic biomass with the supercritical, critical, or near critical fluid or gas improves the process by separating the fibers of the biomass:

In the Aosic process, biomass is contacted with SuperFluids such as carbon dioxide with or without small quantities of polar solvents such as ethanol, both sourced from the downstream fermentation process.  Pressure is released and fibers are made more accessible to enzymes as a result of expansive forces of SuperFluids (about 10 times those of steam explosion) and carbonic acid hydrolysis.

The ’847 Patent says the process provides biomass recovery yields between 95 and 99 percent.  Thanks to Biofuels Digest, from whence I picked up the Aphios news.