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Judge maintains status quo in biofuels patent case

DOVER, Del. — A federal judge in Delaware is maintaining a standstill she ordered last month in a patent dispute between two rival biofuel manufacturers.

The judge on Friday granted a request by Butamax Advanced Biofuels, a joint venture between the DuPont Co. and BP, asking her to maintain the status quo in a patent fight with Colorado-based Gevo Inc. while Butamax appeals her denial of a preliminary injunction.

After the judge denied the preliminary injunction last month, Gevo declared that it was free to sell its isobutanol to any customer in any market, including the fuels industry.

But her ruling Friday prevents Gevo from shipping isobutanol for any purpose related to the automobile fuels market, which is the primary focus for Butamax.