Novozymes is a Danish biopharmaceutical company that develops enzymes for a variety of applications, including for use in production of biofuels.
Last month Novozymes sued an Illinois enzyme distributor called CTE Global (CTE) in federal court in Chicago, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,255,084 (‘084 Patent) and 7,060,468 (‘468 Patent).
The ‘084 and ‘468 Patents are entitled “Thermostable glucoamylase” and are directed to an isolated glucoamylase enzyme which has higher thermal stability than prior glucoamylases. The patents also claim starch conversion processes using the enzyme.
Glucoamylases are used to convert hydrolyzed corn starch to glucose.
The patented enzyme was isolated, purified and characterized from a strain of Talaromyces emersonii, a thermophilic fungus.
According to the ‘084 and ‘468 Patents, the half-life of the isolated enzyme is between 100 and 140 minutes at 70 degrees Celsius, an improvement over prior art glucoamylases.
Novozymes is currently involved in another biofuels enzyme patent suit as well. The company has asserted another enzyme patent against its Danish rival Danisco – U.S. Patent No. 7,713,723 – and survived a summary judgment motion challenging the validity of that patent.