Novozymes Attack on Patent for Ethanol-Producing Enzyme Composition, among the Reexamination Requests Filed Week of February 20, 2012

Scott Daniels | February 27, 2012

Novozymes A/S, considered the world’s largest maker of industrial enzymes, requested reexamination of the recently-issued U.S. Patent No. 8,048,657 claiming an enzyme composition for making ethanol (see ex parte Request No. (8)).  Danisco, a DuPont subsidiary, owns the patent and is considered the world’s second largest maker of industrial enzymes.  Although there does not appear to be pending infringement action regarding Danisco’s ‘657 patent, one might soon be filed.  Novozymes has successfully sued Danisco for patent infringement, obtaining an $18.3 verdict in the Western District of Wisconsin at the end of October.

The refrigerator war between LG Electronics and Whirlpool opened a new front last week, with LG requesting reexamination of a Whirlpool ice-delivery patent (see ex parte Request No. (2)), and Whirlpool requesting reexamination of an LG icemaker patent (see inter partes Request No. 2)).  The companies have been battling in recent years in several District Court infringement actions and in an ITC investigation.

The recent increase in the number of reexamination requests filed against medical device patents continued last week with a request filed by Boston Scientific against a stent patent owned by OrbusNeich (see inter partes Request No. (3)).  OrbusNeich has a pending infringement action against Boston regarding the patent.

And a request was filed against a SmartData patent for a modular computer (see inter partes Request No. (4)).  Although the PTO records do not yet show who filed the request, it is likely Apple, whom SmartData recently sued for infringing that patent. 

The following inter partes requests were filed:

(1)         95/001,900 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,592,537 entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MOUNTING PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULES and owned by Zep Solar.  Filed February 20, 2012, by Andalay Solar.  The ‘537 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Zep Solar v. Westinghouse Solar et al. (Case No. 3:11-cv-6493 (N.D. Cal.)).

(2)         95/001,901 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,703,298 entitled REFRIGERATOR WITH ICEMAKER and owned by LG Electronics.  Filed February 21, 2012, by Whirlpool.  The ‘298 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled LG Electronics et al. v. Whirlpool (Case No. 10-cv-311 (D. Del.)).

(3)         95/001,902 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,682,384 entitled STENT WITH HELICAL ELEMENTS and owned by OrbusNeich.  Filed February 24, 2012, by Boston Scientific.  The ‘384 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled OrbusNeich Medical Co. Ltd. v. Boston Scientific (Case No. 1:09-cv-10962-RGS (D. Mass.)).

(4)         95/001,903 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 7,158,757 entitled MODULAR COMPUTER and owned by SmartData.  Filed February 24, 2012, likely by Apple.  The ‘757 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled SmartData v. Apple (Case No. 3:12-cv-583-JSC (N.D. Cal.)).

(5)         95/000,659 (paper filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,629,163 entitled METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DEMULTIPLIEXING A FIRST SEQUENCE OF PACKET COMPONTS TO IDENTIFY SPECIFIC COMPONENTS WHEREIN SUSBSEQUENT COMPONENTS AREPROCESSED WITHOUT RE-IDENTIFYING COMPONENTS and owned by Implicit Networks.  Filed February 13, 2012, by Juniper Networks.  The ‘163 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled Implicit Networks v. Juniper Networks (Case No. 10-cv-4234-SI (N.D. Cal.)).

 The following ex parte requests were filed:

(1)         90/012,154 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,971,945 entitled MULTI-STEP POLISHING SOLUTION FOR CHEMICAL MECHANICAL PLANARIZATION and owned by Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials.  Filed February 20, 2012.

(2)         90/012,155 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,082,130 entitled ICE DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR A REFRIGERATOR and owned by Whirlpool.  Filed February 21, 2012, by LG Electronics.   The ‘130 patent is currently the subject of a litigation styled LG Electronics et al. v. Whirlpool (Case No. 10-cv-311 (D. Del.)).

(3)         90/012,156 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent Reissue No. 42,736 entitled METHODS FOR ELECTRONIC TRACKING OF UNITS ORIGINATING FROM A COMMON SOURCE and owned by Round Rock Research LLC.  Filed February 21, 2012.

(4)         90/012,157 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 8,070,403 entitled SCREW WITH BREAKAWAY AND METHODS OF USING THE SAME and owned by Eyecharms.  Filed February 21, 2012.

(5)         90/012,158 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,851,391 entitled APPARATUS FOR CLEANING AN ANIMAL’S PAW and owned by Paw Wash, LLC.  Filed February 21, 2012.

(6)         90/012,159 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,834,703 entitled FLOATING PIVOT MOUNT FOR A FOLDING PANEL and owned by Centor Australia Pty.  Filed February 22, 2012, by Brio USA.

(7)         90/012,160 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,237,011 entitled COMPUTER-BASED DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM and owned by USB AG.  Filed February 22, 2012.

(8)         90/012,161 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 8,048,657 entitled ENZYME COMPOSITIONS COMPRISING A GLUCOAMYLASE, AN ACID STABLE ALPHA AMYLASE, AND AN ACID FUNGAL PROTEASE and owned by Danisco.  Filed February 23, 2012, by Novozymes A/S.

(9)         90/012,162 (electronically filed) – U.S. Patent No. 6,403,980 entitled THIN FILM TRANSISTOR PANEL FOR LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY and owned by Samsung Electronics.  Filed February 24, 2012.

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