Ethanol producers sued over corn oil technology

Moves to Consolidate All Pending Infringement Matters To One Court for Pretrial Proceedings

(full article)

GreenShift Corporation (GERS 0.00, 0.00, 0.00%) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, GS CleanTech Corporation (“GreenShift”), has commenced legal action against eleven additional ethanol producers for infringing on GreenShift’s U.S. patent covering corn oil extraction technology.

The new complaints allege that the named producers are infringing GreenShift’s U.S. Patent No. 7,601,858, titled “Method of Processing Ethanol Byproducts and Related Subsystems” (the ‘858 Patent), which covers processes for recovering corn oil from whole stillage, a precursor to the distillers grain co-product of corn ethanol production.

The following is a list of all current ethanol producers alleged to infringe the ‘858 Patent and now named in GreenShift’s pending infringement suits:

Ethanol Producer                                Location

1. Big River Resources West Burlington, LLC     West Burlington, Illinois

2. Center Ethanol, LLC                          Sauget, Illinois

3. Lincolnland Agri-Energy, LLC                 Palestine, Illinois

4. Cardinal Ethanol, LLC                        Union City, Indiana

5. Iroquois BioEnergy Company, LLC              Rensselear, Indiana

6. Amaizing Energy, LLC                         Denison, Iowa

7. Big River Resources Galva, LLC               Galva, Iowa

8. Lincolnway Energy, LLC                       Nevada, Iowa

9. Al-Corn Clean Fuel, LLC                      Claremont, Minnesota

10. Bushmills Ethanol, Inc.                     Atwater, Minnesota

11. Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co., LLLP           Benson, Minnesota

12. Heartland Corn Products, LLC                Winthrop, Minnesota

13. Blue Flint Ethanol, LLC                     Underwood, North Dakota

14. ACE Ethanol, LLC                            Stanley, Wisconsin

15. United Wisconsin Grain Producers, LLC       Friesland, Wisconsin

Also named in GreenShift’s pending infringement suits are ICM, Inc., of Colwich, Kansas and GEA Westfalia Separator, Inc., of Northvale, New Jersey based on each company’s alleged infringement via the sale of equipment for use in a manner that infringes the ‘858 Patent.

Our Take:
We have no opinion about the merit of this lawsuit, but merely post it as a sign, if an indirect one, of the technological sophistication of today’s ethanol industry.


We posted the list of companies named in the suit as another indication of the broad reach of the ethanol industry. Plants across the Midwestern U.S. employ state-of-the-art technology to capture as much value as possible from the grain they use as feedstock.


Ethanol plants not only provide clean, renewable transportation fuel, but turn out a number of high quality food and feed products as well—each plant developing its own mix of products based on the ready availability of markets to consume those goods—everything from food-grade corn oil, carbonation for bottled softdrinks, high quality alcohol beverages, to the high-protein animal feed called distillers grains.

The success of corn-based ethanol has allowed each plant to pursue its own path to diversification in value-added agriculture. And through that success, these companies have brought high paying jobs and revenue to rural Minnesota—the latest estimate is $6 billion in annual economic impact in our state alone.


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