VIASPACE Press Release
Clarification--Corporate Update on Giant King® Grass and VIASPACE Activities
February 5, 2015 - Walnut, California – VIASPACE provides this clarification of the press release of February 2, 2015. VIASPACE Inc. (OTC: VSPC) today provided a synopsis of its recent activities. Additional press releases in the near future will provide further details.
· The trademark on Giant King® Grass has been registered by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
· The formal feasibility study for the 12 MW biomass power plant and Giant King® Grass in Nicaragua has been completed and validates the project plan.
· CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen, visited Nicaragua in late January and met with VIASPACE partner AGRICORP, development banks, equity financiers, agronomic experts, and government officials.
· CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen, made an invited presentation at the Platt’s Caribbean Energy Conference held January 29-30, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The trademark name--Giant King® Grass-- for the proprietary, high yield, natural hybrid, energy and animal feed crop has been registered by the US Patent and Trademark Office. VIASPACE applied for registration of the trademark on behalf of its sister company VIASPACE Green Energy Inc., which markets Giant King® Grass in China and Taiwan. The clarification is that VIASPACE Green Energy is the owner of the trademark. Previously, the trademark was indicated by including the letters TM in the description of Giant King™ Grass. The ® can only be used for marks that have been granted federal registration. This means that the application has been granted and the mark has been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Owning a federal trademark registration provides:
- Public notice of VIASPACE Green Energy’s ownership of the trademark
- A legal presumption of ownership of the trademark and exclusive right to use the mark nationwide
- The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court
- The ability to record the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods
- The right to use the federal registration symbol ®
- Listing in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online databases
Giant King® Grass is a natural hybrid grass and is not genetically modified.
To create natural hybrid plants, breeders select desirable characteristics from two or more unique parent plants (of the same genus, species or variety) and cross-pollinate them in a controlled environment to create a plant with the best and desirable features of the parent plants. Hybrids may be bred to produce earlier or higher yields, have higher germination rates or more cold tolerance. The process of developing a hybrid typically requires many years. Natural hybrid vegetables and flowers have been in the marketplace for more than 50 years.
GMO plants (GMO stands for “genetically modified organism”) on the other hand, are the result of genetic engineering. This is a process during which the plant’s DNA is altered in a way that cannot occur naturally, and sometimes includes the insertion of genes from other species. Giant King® Grass is not a GMO plant and is not genetically modified or altered in any way.
Forage grasses have been hybridized for many years with the focus on producing better animal feed--with higher protein, net energy of lactation, palatability, etc., in addition to higher yields. Until recently, no one was interested in developing hybrids such as Giant King® Grass that simply increase the sheer yield of biomass.
Giant King® Grass is a natural hybrid of two specific cultivars of species in their genus. There are approximately 200 known cultivars of one parent and 50 of the other for a total of 10,000 potential combinations. Since each parent can either serve as the mother or father, there are 20,000 potential hybrids.
Giant King® Grass is proprietary to VIASPACE and VIASPACE Green Energy. No one else besides VIASPACE and its partners/licensees have Giant King® Grass. It is the highest yielding crop in the world. It is a perennial crop in tropical and subtropical regions. It only needs to be replanted every 7 to 10 years which is a major advantage. Giant King® Grass is sterile and therefore a noninvasive species. This has been confirmed by DNA analysis. It is easily propagated from cuttings like sugarcane.
In addition to the well-documented and extremely high biomass yields, Giant King® Grass when cut every two months at 5 to 8 feet tall is also an excellent animal feed with 12 – 17% protein content.
Giant King® Grass has not been patented (which would disclose or reveal the unique and specific hybrid cultivars), and is treated as a trade secret much like the Coca-Cola formula. Plant breeders may try to duplicate Giant King® Grass, but there are many variables and testing could take many years. Giant King® Grass is available today with the well-documented analyses for both energy applications and animal feed.
VIASPACE’s business model is to license Giant King® Grass to large energy or animal feed projects, and also to co-develop projects with local partners in other regions and countries. The high-yield of Giant King® Grass makes it a considerably less expensive fuel or feed than competing grasses with lower yield.
For example, consider an application such as a power plant that needs a certain number of tons of biomass each year. Comparing another crop that has half the yield to Giant King® Grass:
· twice as much land to be purchased or leased to produce the needed biomass
· twice as much irrigation infrastructure has to be installed
· twice as many seeds will be needed to be purchased
· twice as many seeds need to be planted
· the labor and cost of planting will be twice as much
· more fertilizer will be required
· twice as much land has to be maintained including initial weed control
· twice as much land needs to be harvested
· however, the alternative crop has no license fee as there is for Giant King® Grass
These additional costs are required to produce the same amount of biomass that can be produced with Giant King® Grass on half the land. Comparing the overall costs, it is substantially less expensive to produce Giant King® Grass biomass or animal feed even with its license fee incorporated into the business plan. Plus the customer is getting a well-documented, noninvasive biomass crop or animal feed crop.
VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, commented, “As we have talked to various financing entities regarding our project pipeline, it is abundantly clear that having a reliable feedstock is the first key to the success and commercial integrity of a biomass/bioenergy or animal feed project. We have nailed it with Giant King® Grass. It is reliable, well-characterized, well-documented and its extremely high yield can turn an otherwise marginal business plan into a successful business plan. Our formal feasibility study for our flagship 12 MW Nicaragua biomass power plant validates the advantages of using Giant King® Grass and we believe that its implementation will open many new doors for VIASPACE, Giant King® Grass and our business model.”
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King® Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. Giant King® Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass energy crop. Giant King® Grass when it is cut frequently at 4 to 5 feet tall is also excellent animal feed. The USDA granted approval for planting Giant King® Grass throughout the US and cooperates in exporting by performing the required inspections and issuing the phytosanitary certificate needed for import into foreign countries. Giant King® Grass is being grown in California, Hawaii, St. Croix Virgin Islands, Nicaragua, South Africa, China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines and Guyana. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Information in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.