‘Heavy legs’ market opens after EPO revokes Böhringer plant extract patent

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

‘Heavy legs’ market opens after EPO revokes Böhringer plant extract patent

Related tags: Grape

The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked a patent held by German firm Böhringer linking a red vine leaf extract with a vascular issue most commonly known as “heavy legs” - opening European markets to new suppliers.

After a challenge by Swiss supplier, Frutarom, the EPO on September 20 ruled that Böhringer’s patent (EP 1300084) for the Vitis viniferaL.​ extract, Red Vine Leaf EFLA 945 was invalid as the IP did not mot differentiate the extract from others that were substantially equivalent.

Neither Frutarom nor Böhringer were available for comment on the natural antioxidant extract at the time of publication.

"failed to contain any innovative step..."

In a statement, Raul Cortada, global vice president of sales and marketing at Frutarom, said the EPO decision would open “new horizons”​ for the company,particularly Germany, where Böhringer does the bulk of its red vine leaf extract business.

“We have successfully proven to the board of appeal that Böhringer’s patent failed to contain any innovative step,”​ he said.

“This will help us to open the market to this advanced natural solution, especially in Germany where Böhringer is active.”

Our Red Vine Leaf Extract EFLA® 945 is scientifically backed by bibliographic studies and its triple-powerful standardisation of three markers: Polyphenols, anthocyanins and trans-resveratrol.”

Heavy legs is commonly a precursor to conditions like deep-vein thrombosis and other vascular issues and is believed to affect up to 20% of adult women and 10% of adult men in the US.

Böhringer won a patent for the same extract in the US in 2003.

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