Novozymes is a Danish biopharmaceutical company that develops enzymes for a variety of applications, including for use in production of biofuels.
The ink had barely dried on the company’s newly-issued U.S. Patent No. 7,713,723 (‘723 Patent) when Novozymes sued its Danish rival Danisco, along with Genencor International Wisconsin, for patent infringement.
The ‘723 Patent is entitled “Alpha amylase mutants with altered properties” and is directed to variants of certain alpha amylases that exhibit altered stability under high temperatures, low pH and other conditions. The patented variants can be used for starch conversion in ethanol production.
According to the complaint (novozymes_complaint.pdf), filed in the Western District of Wisconsin, the defendants are infringing the ‘723 Patent by selling alpha amylase enzymes including Danisco’s GC358 product.
This is not the first time these Danish rivals have litigated a patent relating to enzymes for ethanol production. In 2007, Danisco paid Novozymes $15.3 million to settle a lawsuit involving alleged infringement of a patent for the enzyme spezyme ethyl.