Courts Consolidate Corn Oil Extraction Lawsuits

In February, DomesticFuel brought you a story regarding GreenShift Corporation’s lawsuit against Big River Resources Galva, Big River Resources West Burlington and Cardinal Ethanol. GreenShift claims that the plants, using ICM’s corn extraction technology, are infringing upon their U.S. patent covering its corn oil extraction technology. In a companion matter, ICM filed a lawsuit against CleanTech, the affiliate of GreenShift Corporation, in federal court in Kansas last October requesting that the court declare CleanTech’s patent invalid. In addition, ICM filed motions on behalf of their plants to stay the proceedings and consolidate them with the Kansas case.

During the past several weeks, courts in Indiana and Illinois has ruled in favor of the ethanol plants and all cases will be tried in the Kansas court alongside the request to invalidate CleanTech’s patent.

Brian Burris, ICM’s General Counsel, stated, “ICM is pleased with the recent rulings by the U.S. District Courts in Indiana and Illinois regarding the litigation proceedings with GS CleanTech. As we have previously stated, ICM strongly believes that GS CleanTech’s alleged patent claims are and will be proved to be invalid. Since our inception in 1995, ICM remains committed to our industry and our customers – whether through creating revenue-enhancing products and services, or assuming their defense in cases such as this.”


0 responses to “Courts Consolidate Corn Oil Extraction Lawsuits”

  1. The court’s have just stayed the GreenShift filings waiting on the first filing in Kansas. They did not rule on, nor can one imply that the rulings had anything to do with the substance of the case. I am a tiny long term greenshift investor who has helped develop this process with MY CAPITAL.

    The substance is that GreenShift invented the process in 2004 and filed an initial patent in august of 2004. They briefed 30% of the industry in 2005 – after the patent was published. Instead of embracing this new patented pending invention, some in the industry took the information and tried to steal the idea. On 13 Oct 2009 the first patent was approved, then another, then a third.

    On Monday may 3rd GreenShift (gs cleantech) filed another 11 ethanol plant lawsuits. the only place you can find anything up to date is the skunk blog or search on

  2. I also think this will not get objective coverage in the industry press since ICM and Westfalia are two of the major (advertisers) players in the industry and are both accused of profiting off this patent infringement. Both are in this up to their necks.

    Here is the GreenShift side of the recent news

  3. What I would like to know is, if ICM didn’t steal Greenshifts idea, why did ICM need to buy several machines from Greenshift? If ICM invented it, why don’t they have any patents and why the need to buy machines from GERS? ICM bought those machines and turned around and started selling them to the ethanol industry, without a license.

    The courts did not rule in the ethanol plants favor. They simply said they will wait for the case in Kansas before making a decision on an injunction.

    ICM sued GERS within 2 minutes of GERS’ patents being issued. They just wanted the ball in their court so they could stall as long as possible.

  4. ICM did a poor job of copying GERS’ patented technology. Maybe that’s why they’re liquidating their COES inventory.

    You get what you pay for. And when you buy stolen technology from a patent infringer, you deserve the headache.

    “Golden Grain is going to put in the ICM-designed corn-oil-extraction system here,” confirmed Walt Wendland, president of Golden Grain Energy. “We will install back-end extraction equipment to take out the free oil in the solubles.” The ethanol plant expects to generate enough corn oil to produce 15 MMgy of biodiesel.

    “We are continuing to fine tune the operation of our corn oil extraction equipment. We continue to experience reliability issues with the corn oil extraction equipment.”

    This 110 million gallon ethanol plant in Iowa should be extracting at least 3 MGY of corn oil per year. They reported extracting just 600K gallons in the last 3 Q’s of 2009. This equates to extracting less than 1/3 of what a real COES from GERS can do.
    This company is learning the hard way that they should have bought the proven technology from the patent holder, Greenshift. Faulty, poorly built machines give corn oil extraction a bad face in the ethanol industry. ICM had this ethanol plant believing that they could extract 15 MGY. Are they thieves, liars, or both?