Novozymes has lost its appeals court bid to revive an $18 million patent-infringement verdict against DuPont Co.’s Danisco unit over an enzyme used in biofuel production.
In another big patent case, Google and Apple have won an appeal in a dispute with a researcher over Internet patents.
Novozymes is a global leader in producing enzymes that boost biofuel production.
A Novozymes patent for an enzyme that remains active in high temperatures is invalid because it doesn’t describe what the company claims to have invented, the Washington-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in an opinion posted on its website.
In dispute was patent 7,713,723, which was issued in May 2010, the same month in which Novozymes filed the infringement suit in federal court in Madison, Wisconsin.
The appeals court affirmed a trial judge’s decision to throw out the jury verdict.
The lower court case is Novozymes A/S v. Danisco A/S, 3:10- cv-00251-BBC, U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin (Madison). The appeal is Novozymes A/S v. DuPont Nutrition Biosciences, 12-01433, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).Google, Novozymes, Castel Group, Disney: Intellectual Property
Novozymes operates its North American headquarters in Franklinton.
Google, Amazon Prevail
Google and Amazon.com have won a U.S. appeals court ruling in a case of a former university researcher who claimed his patents covered some of the Internet’s most basic interactive functions.
The two patents owned by Eolas Technologies Inc. of Tyler, Texas, and the University of California are invalid, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled yesterday. The decision, issued without a formal opinion, upholds a jury verdict won by Google, Amazon.com, JC Penney Co. and Yahoo! Inc. last year in Tyler.
Eolas founder Michael Doyle claimed functions including music clips, search features, maps and embedded applications used his inventions. Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist credited with inventing the World Wide Web, was among those testifying against him in the trial.
Eolas, in court papers, claimed the patents covered inventions that “took the Web from a primitive and static world to today’s seamlessly interactive environment.”
In its own filing with the court, Mountain View, California-based Google and Plano, Texas-based JC Penney said Eolas’s claim was a “fantastic assertion” rejected by the jury “after hearing from the scientists who are actually responsible for that achievement, including the father of the World Wide Web.”
More than a dozen companies had been named in the original complaint, including Apple Inc., EBay Inc. and Citigroup Inc. Most settled before the trial. Cases against Facebook Inc., Wal- Mart Stores Inc. and Walt Disney Co. were stayed pending appeal.
In 2003, Eolas won a $521 million verdict against Microsoft Corp. that was thrown out on appeal for a retrial on the validity of the patents. The two companies settled before a new trial could be held.
The case is Eolas Technologies v. Amazon.com Inc., 12-1632, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington). The lower court case is Eolas Technologies Inc. v. Adobe Systems Inc., 09-cv-00446, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas (Tyler).