Lipid Nutrition clears rights to European CLA patent

Related tags Patent Conjugated linoleic acid Lipid nutrition

A challenge to Lipid Nutrition's patent on the composition of its
conjugated linoleic acid has been removed after the European Patent
Office ruled that all claims should remain as granted four years

The Dutch firm has invested more in the research and marketing of its CLA brand Clarinol than any of its other products and is expecting to make significant gains from the booming weight loss market.

However the company shares access to the WARF-owned patents allowing for claims of fat reduction with German health ingredients supplier Cognis.

It therefore relies on the composition of its CLA range, which also includes the Safflorin brand for immune health, for competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Lipid Nutrition marketing manager John Kurstjens explained: "This patent allows us to use the two active CLA isomers C9,T11 and T10,C12 at concentrations higher than 60 per cent. Using the C9,T11 isomer in high quantities allows us to approach very closely the CLA found in nature."

An ingredient that closely resembles natural compounds is of clear advantage for food manufacturers, a crucial target for the ingredient supplier.

"Food companies have more marketing power to educate the consumer,"​ Kurstjens told

While CLA is being used increasingly in supplements, food makers are taking longer to develop products with the right positioning, and only a handful of CLA-fortified foods are available to date in Europe. However functional foods present a much larger sales opportunity for the Loders Croklaan business, which expects food use to more than triple current demand for CLA.

The firm's patent could also allow it to develop new products in the future based on new research.

Patent EP 0866874, entitled 'Process for the preparation of materials with a high content of isomers of conjugated linoleic acid', was granted in Europe on 5 July 2001 but had already been opposed on 4 April that year.

The Opposition Division of the patent office concluded that the patent was novel and inventive after minor amendment but the decision was appealed by Cognis, Lipid Nutrition's main rival in the CLA market.

Last month, the Board of Appeal decided that all of the compound claims should remain as granted, according to a Lipid Nutrition statement.

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