The German court threw out the infringement claim that dates back to November 2010 after visiting ZMC’s facilities at the beginning of this month. Japan-based Kaneka was ordered to pay costs.
With two similar patent infringement cases ongoing in the US as well as others in the Asia Pacific, president of ZMC-USA, Scott Steinford, said the ruling should be admitted to other proceedings.
“The judgment mentioned is not connected to either case in the United States involving ZMC and ZMC-USA,” Steinford said.
“However, the inspection mentioned in the case was conducted on behalf of all cases which Kaneka has brought suit to date including the aforementioned US cases.”
“We are hopeful the US Judges will read the same inspection report provided to the German court and come to the same conclusion as that judge did and determine the lawsuits are without foundation and no infringement upon the Kaneka CoQ10 patent has been conducted by ZMC.”
ZMC CEO Jiang Xiao Yue welcomed the verdict on an action he suggested was, “baseless”.
“ZMC has contended from the beginning of these lawsuits, the allegations presented are baseless and have been largely motivated by short term market manipulation rather than true legal content," Jiang said.
He backed his US president in adding: "ZMC is confident the outcome of the many similar lawsuits filed by Kaneka Corporation around the globe against ZMC will be found to be equally without foundation or merit."
In the action, which was also lodged in the Tribunal de Grand Justice of Paris at the same time, Kaneka alleged ZMC was violating its CoQ10 manufacturing patent (No. 1,466,983).
It lodged similar infringement actions against Xiamen Kingdomway Vitamin Inc and Pacific Rainbow Inc in the US in 2009. Those actions were successful with the two companies agreeing to cease selling ubiqinol products in the US. Ubiquinol is a form of CoQ10 marketed by Kaneka as Kaneka QH.
Research links CoQ10 with improved cardiovascular health, energy delivery and antioxidant-free radical control.
Kaneka’s ingredient is marketed on boosted bioavailability due to the presence of vitamins and enzymes in its proprietary formulation.