The long-running krill oil patent dispute between Canada’s Neptune Technologies & Bioressources and Israel-based Enzymotec Ltd. has come to an end, with the firms signing a final and binding patent infringement settlement and license agreement.
As part of the settlement, Neptune granted a world-wide, non-exclusive, royalty-bearing license to Enzymotec, allowing it to market and sell its nutraceutical products under Neptune’s ‘348 family of patents (US Patent No. 8,030,348 and all the continuations). Enzymotec also agreed to pay Neptune a non-refundable one-time upfront settlement payment. The financial terms of the license are confidential between the parties.
“This successfully brings to a conclusion all of the outstanding litigation issues before the ITC, with Neptune concluding favourable agreements with all ten Respondents named in the investigation,” said Benoit Huart, Director Legal Affairs of Neptune.
“Consequently, Neptune has now licensed some of its patents to all of the major players in the worldwide krill oil industry. In addition, these settlements preserve strong IP protection for both Neptune and Acasti, allowing them to
Krill oil pioneer
Neptune was the pioneer in bringing krill oil to market as a phospholipid source of EPA and DHA for dietary supplements. The company filed the first patents in the field and did the first scientific work, and was the first to extract the oil at its facility in Sherbrooke, Quebec from the crustaceans that are caught in the Southern Atlantic Ocean near Antarctica.
Neptune acquired stiff competition from Enzymotec and from Aker BioMarine, a Norwegian company. Aker supplied the raw material for what became the single best selling omega-3 SKU of all, Schiff’s MegaRed line sold in the mass market channel. Later Rimfrost, a division of Norwegian fishing company Olympic Seafood, also joined the game.
Neptune pursued a policy of vigorously defending its patents, and Aker signed a licensing agreement with Neptune in late 2013. Rimfrost had earlier entered into an agreement with Neptune.
Searching for a new CEO
Neptune also announced that its CEO and president, Henri Harland, has resigned, and the company is already searching for a new president. During the interim period the business will be led by a management and operations committee under the leadership of Neptune’s Chief Financial Officer, Andre Godin.
Mike Timperio, Sr VP, Global Sales, added: “Be assured that today’s announcement has no impact on our daily operations. We recognize the importance of our customers and we will continue to focus on providing you with outstanding products and service.
“Neptune has grown over the years to become a premier industry supplier of marine based omega-3 phospholipids and we have a bright future.”