The New Jersey-based ingredients supplier alleges that DNP has marketed and distributed BioPerine black pepper extract and Forslean coleus forskohlii extract for uses Sabinsa has held the rights to since the late 1990s.
Intellectual property is tantamount to the dietary supplement industry's bread and butter - the pay off that makes years of research and development worthwhile. As such, not only is patent infringement illegal, but it is also a threat to profits of the actual patent holders.
"We invest significant amounts of money each year into research to develop products that can be safely and confidently used by the nutritional supplement industry," said Sabinsa CEO and founder Dr. Muhammed Majeed. "Intellectual property allows us to bring the fruits of this research to the marketplace."
The patents in question in the Sabinsa/DNP case are the use patent for BioPerine, US Patent No. 5,972,382, and the use patent for ForsLean, US Patent No. 5,804,596. Headquartered in California, DNP distributes 2000 ingredients and claims to always have 1000 in stock.
For DNP's part, company president David Ji said:
"Actually, Sabinsa is an approved vendor for DNP on these two products. They agreed to sell it through DNP and its marketing plans. It is regretful that they send media information regarding a lawsuit. DNP already holds the marketing of these two products and we will review the patent issue with our attorney for the claim."
Sabinsa's Bioperine is a standardized black pepper extract that contains 95 percent of piperine, which is said to bind to so-called Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. This triggers metabolic processes favoring the flow of nutrients in the body.
ForsLean also has uses for enhancing metabolic processes. It is standardized to ten percent forskolin, an adenylate cyclase enzyme activator. Sabinsa markets ForsLean for promoting fat loss and promoting weight loss.
Sabinsa claims to have brought more than 50 standardized botanical extracts to market. The company employs over 100 scientists who conduct ongoing research in India and the United States, in order to develop and patent more phytonutrient.
"Unfortunately, a few companies unlawfully use our patent-protected work and ignore Sabinsa's intellectual property rights, leaving us with no alternative but to take legal action," said Dr. Majeed.