Indianapolis, Indiana – Appellants, GS CleanTech Corporation and Greenshift Corporation (collectively “CleanTech”), appealed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana’s finding that U.S. Patent Nos. 7,601,858 (the “‘858 patent”), 8,008,516 (the “‘516 patent”), 8,008,517 (the “‘517 patent”), and 8,283,484 (the “‘484 patent”) (together, the “Patents-in-Suit”) are unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed.
Before joining CleanTech in 2006, David Cantrell founded Vortex Dehydration Technology (“VDT”). In June 2003, Mr. Cantrell sent an email to two Agri-Energy LLC (“Agri-Energy”) employees regarding how VDT’s oil recovery system may be applicable in an ethanol plant. He also included an operational cost spreadsheet and an image of the system. VDT representatives conducted tests with Agri-Energy’s ethanol syrup in early July 2003.
A proposal dated July 31, 2003 was emailed to multiple Agri-Energy employees on August 1, 2003 offering “Agri-Energy a No-Risk trial [of the] ‘Oil Recovery System.’” The proposal allowed Agri-Energy to use the unit for sixty days at which point it could purchase the system for $423,000 or return it to VDT. That proposal was not accepted, however, in early 2004 communications resumed and the system was installed in the Agri-Energy plant in May 2004.