Olympic Seafood-owned krill subsidiary Rimfrost has negotiated a long-term, non-exclusive licencing agreement with fellow Norwegian firm Aker BioMarine to secure access to the krill major's patent portfolio in Australia.
In another clear demonstration of the importance of the Australian krill oil market, the patents will apply to Olympic and its affiliates with immediate affect. They cover four recently certified innovation patents laying claim to commercially important krill oil compositions and production methods.
“As we reviewed Aker BioMarine’s Australian patent portfolio, we found that licencing it would be necessary to secure our continued right to offer krill oil in Australia”, said Bjørnar Kleiven, CEO of Olympic Seafood.“With this licence in place, we can now offer Rimfrost Sublime Antarctic krill oil with full freedom to operate in the strong and growing Australian market."
Aker confirmed to FoodNavigator-Asia that the deal will be for 20 years and came about because "we would rather compete on quality and support."
Olympic has high expectations for Rimfrost Sublime in Australia. "This licencing agreement creates stability for our customers as they have a choice of suppliers,” said Olympic Seafood’s sales and marketing director, Even Remøy. “Both Aker BioMarine and ourselves are dedicated to developing the Australian krill oil market."
The patents that Olympic Seafood and its affiliates have licenced from Aker cover the extraction of krill oil from natured products such as krill meal and powder, although the company has stressed that none of the granted claims are limited to krill oil removed by a specific extraction method.
Only available in Australia, innovation patents provide protection over eight years. They are awarded for inventions that are "novel over the prior art, and where the novelty-conferring feature substantially contributes to the function of the invention, but there is no inventive step requirement, as is the case for ordinary patents."
These patents are particularly difficult to invalidate, which is also why they have been dubbed “the strongest patents in the world” by the international patent community.