Krill Oil Manufacturer Sues Competitors for Patent Infringement

February 11, 2013, by Mandour & Associates, APC

San Diego – Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. launched a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against several competing companies, claiming their krill oil products infringe on a patent the company holds for its products.

Neptune produces krill oil tablets for use as a dietary supplement.  The company receives krill from the Antarctic Ocean and uses its patented extraction process to pull the maximum amount of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from the krill.

The complaint claims that the krill-based products made and sold by Aker BioMarine AS, Avoca Inc., Enzymotec Ltd., Olympic Seafood AS and their related entities directly or indirectly infringe U.S. Patent Number 8,278,351, which protects the extraction process and formula for Neptune Krill Oil.

Neptune President and CEO Henri Harland released a statement that said, “The filing of the complaint is consistent with our philosophy that infringing competitors must be held accountable for their actions.  This approach will enhance our business position as the leader and the innovator in this market”

Harland went on to say, “When a company infringes our patents, without our permission or a license, we owe it to our shareholders and investors to protect the patents through every means available to us.”

The complaint requests an order preventing the companies from importing, marketing or selling their infringing krill-based products in the United States.  The ITC is expected to begin investigating the case this month and will take 15 to 18 months to complete the investigation.

Neptune filed the complaint just days after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allowed a second continuance on the ‘351 patent and another patent related to the extraction and production of krill oil for dietary supplements.  The continuation application consisted of a single claim related to products made using Antarctic krill oil and covers most products containing krill oil that are currently sold in the U.S.

Neptune claims it provided the USPTO with all prior art during the prosecution process.  However, Aker BioMarine has requested that the patents be reexamined.

The Omega-3 fatty acids found in krill oil are known for their benefits on brain and heart health and are have been proven to be effective on joint and women’s health.