Biothera settles beta-glucan patent case

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Biothera, the maker of immune-boosting ingredients, says it has
settled a dispute over its beta-glucan patents with Californian
firm Cypress Systems.

According to Biothera, Cypress has agreed to stop selling yeast beta-glucan and has acknowledged the validity of Biothera's patents as part of the settlement of a lawsuit filed in federal district court last March.

The settlement "adds clarity to the market for beta-glucan products, provides Biothera with new sales and further strengthens our position in two pending patent infringement lawsuits"​, said Richard Mueller, Biothera president and chief executive officer.

Biothera sued Fresno-based Cypress for infringing patents that give it the exclusive right to make and sell yeast beta-glucan as a dietary supplement.

Biothera has also sued Norwegian company Biotec Pharmacon, which makes the immune health supplement Immutol, and the product's distributor, Immunocorp. A third lawsuit was filed against Fenchem Enterprises, a Chinese ingredient company.

In an interview earlier this year, Mueller said that patent infringements are the result of what has been, until recently, a very fragmented intellectual property landscape for the ingredient.

"Early on there were many people involved in the R&D of beta glucan and some of the patents overlap,"​ he told NutraIngredients-USA.com.

The firm has through two acquisitions gained a large bulk of the intellectual property on the use of beta 1,3/1,6 glucan derived from Baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cervisiae) and its use in supplements.

Under the settlement with Cypress Systems, Biothera will gain the other firm's customer list and invoices for the past two years, its supplier invoices, and its "Beta Precise" trademark.

"We have already been in contact with many of Cypress Systems' customers and have begun to provide them with our BetaRight 3-6 or WGP 3-6 products,"​ said Mueller.

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