The recent conclusion of the licensing agreement between Norway's Natural group and the speciality chemicals and nutraceuticals company Cognis, which granted the latter group sole rights to Natural's conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), has also been beneficial to another company, PharmaNutrients.
Mark Nottoli, president of PharmaNutrients, explained: "The terms of our original 1999 separation agreement with Natural are clear and specific. Concurrent with Natural entering into a licensing agreement or granting a sublicence to any other party for dietary supplement applications of CLA, PharmaNutrients will automatically receive a worldwide sublicence for the use of CLA as a dietary or nutritional supplement in health food or as a food additive."
PharmaNutrients has therefore received the sublicence for the applications covered by the CLA patents, which are held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), a not-for-profit organisation that administers patents on intellectual property developed by the faculty and staff of the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
Since the termination of its original joint venture agreement with Natural in 1999, PharmaNutrients has had access to WARF patents through a supply licence agreement with the Norwegian company. However, Natural had sought to break this agreement, prompting a lengthy arbitration period which ended last month with a decision by the American Arbitration Association ruling that the agreement was valid.
"We are pleased to have a sublicence and to finally eliminate, once and for all, any doubt related to patent claims that can be made with our CLA One brand of CLA. With this issue firmly resolved, we will be aggressively building awareness and market share for CLA One in the US, western Europe and Asia," Nottoli added.
PharmaNutrients' CLA- and chitosan-based, soluble fibre blended products are used in a wide range of dietary supplements and other nutraceutical applications involved in promoting healthy blood glucose levels and bone metabolism, cardiovascular health, weight management, immune health and other areas.