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NUtech Ventures v. Syngenta Seeds, Inc. et al

Case Summary: 12-cv-00289

Plaintiff NUtech Ventures sued Defendants Syngenta Seeds, Inc. and Trenton Agri Products LLC in the District of Nebraska alleging patent infringement through the use of bio-engineered corn called Enogen in the ethanol production process.

Enogen is a transgenic corn that has been bioengineered to express an “alpha-amylase,” which allows it to be thermostable and active during the high temperatures required for starch hydrolysis in ethanol production. Plaintiff alleged that Defendants modified Enogen corn so it produces a specific type of enzyme derived from an organism that grows at very high temperatures, which is then used in the process of converting starch into smaller sugars during the production of ethanol. Plaintiff argued that its patent discloses and claims the use of a genetically modified plant that produces an enzyme such as the one found in Enogen.

This video shows the August 21, 2013 Markman, or claims construction, hearing. The parties requested that the court construe four terms in the patent’s nine claims. The court issued an order on November 22, 2013 establishing the meaning of three of the four terms, adopting the construction proposed by Plaintiff in each case.

Case Highlights

  • Complaint filed 8/15/2012 (Doc #1)
  • Answer filed 10/15/2012 (Doc #26)
  • Joint Statement Claim Construction filed 5/24/2013 (Doc #75)
  • Markman hearing held 8/21/2013 (Doc #108)
  • Court Order defining terms in claims 11/22/2013 (Doc #115)

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit