Court of Appeals Overturns Decision That Held U.S. Water Patents Invalid
U.S. Water announces that on April 19, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed an adverse judgment against it by the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, reinstating a jury’s unanimous verdict in favor of U.S. Water in its lawsuit against Novozymes A/S and Novozymes North America, Inc. (“Novozymes”). The jury found that Novozymes’s sale of Phytaflow® to its customers caused infringement of the U.S. Water patents asserted in that case, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,415,137 and 8,609,399, relating to U.S. Water’s pHytOUT® deposit control technology and that these patents are valid. The jury awarded U.S. Water $7.58 million dollars in past damages for Novozymes’s infringement.
After trial, the District Court overturned the jury’s verdict, holding that U.S. Water patents were invalid. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which hears patent appeals from all U.S. district courts, overturned that decision, holding that U.S. Water’s patents are indeed valid and that the District Court erred in overturning the jury’s verdict. As a result, the case will return to the District Court for further proceedings.
“U.S. Water is pleased with the Federal Circuit’s decision once again confirming that its patents are not invalid as has been asserted by Novozymes," said LaMarr Barnes, CEO of U.S. Water. “U.S. Water intends to continue its efforts to protect its intellectual property.”
A common problem for ethanol producers is the formation of scale forming deposits in ethanol processing equipment. These deposits impede heat transfer and flow and compromise the proper operation of mechanical devices used in ethanol processing. U.S. Water’s pHytOUT® technology was designed to control mineral deposit scaling, reducing back-end fouling and greatly reduce sulfuric acid use, among other benefits. In 2013, the United States Patent Office issued U.S. Patent Nos. 8,415,137 and 8,609,399 relating to U.S. Water’s pHytOUT® deposit control technology.
The opinion by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit can be found at http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/18-2075.Opinion.4-19-2019.pdf.
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