The Appeal Board of the European Patent Office has overturned a decision made in October 2000 revoking a patent for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) filed by Martek Biosciences.
The board overturned the original decision after ruling that the claims made by Martek in the patent were indeed novel and therefore worthy of a patent.
The patent in question focuses on DHA-enriched oil products and a process for producing DHA-enriched oil. The patented DHA-enriched oil is useful in a number of applications, including infant formulas, nutritional supplements and food ingredients, Martek said.
Martek said the European Patent Office decision was consistent with decisions of other patent offices around the world, and that the patent in question was one of more than 350 granted patents and pending applications in Martek's expanding portfolio.
"Today's decision by the European Patent Office further fortifies Martek's strong intellectual property position in the field of microalgae biotechnology," said Henry Linsert, Martek's chairman and CEO. "We feel that the strength of our extensive patent portfolio provides critical competitive advantages for Martek."
Martek develops, manufactures and sells products from microalgae, including speciality nutritional oils for infant formulas which can aid in the development of the eyes and central nervous system in newborns and nutritional supplements and food ingredients that may play a beneficial role in promoting mental and cardiovascular health.