A court date has been set for August 22 with Judge Larry McKinney in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana to hear arguments in the consolidated GreenShift patent infringement case. Fifteen ethanol plants have been named in the suit as well as several other companies including ICM, GEA Westfalia Separator, GEA Mechanical, and Flottweg Separation Technology.
As the date approaches, ICM has publicly stated that they are continuing to offer corn oil extraction solutions for the ethanol industry. Earlier this summer, the company filed a non-provisional patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its Advanced Oil System and is also offering its Tricenter Oil Separation System.
“We offer products, technology and services to ethanol plants that are designed to increase the revenue to the plant from each bushel of corn,” said Chris Mitchell, Executive Vice-President of ICM. “Our focus is on the success and viability of our customers. Our oil extraction offerings are examples of this focus.”
Mitchell continued, “We offer the systems on a non-royalty bearing basis with a strong return on investment for the customer. We also offer full indemnification from patent infringement as part of each sale. While we prefer to focus on the benefits of ICM’s technology, we feel compelled to respond to a press release issued by GreenShift Corporation on July 25, 2011.”
According to ICM, the press release pointed to a notice of allowance from the USPTO for GreenShift’s patent application number 11/241,231, titled “Method of Processing Ethanol Byproducts and Related Subsystems,” and the company made “legal characterizations and conclusions with respect to the action of USPTO.”
Brian Burris, General Counsel of ICM, stated in an ICM press release that they are confident that the GreenShift patents will be declared invalid and stress that ICM’s current corn oil technologies fall outside all patent claims. “While our company policy is not to comment on matters in current litigation, ICM felt it is necessary to clarify to the industry statements made by GreenShift,” added Burris.