Danone fails in prebiotic infant microbiome patent challenge


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French dairy and probiotics giant Danone has failed to shut down an infant microbiome-focused prebiotic composition patent, after a European Patent Office (EPO) ruling.

The EPO backed the patent​, which focused on the potential of galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) to stimulate probiotic activity, especially bifidobacteria​, in infant microbiomes.

The patent is owned by Evolve, a spin-off from the Foods for Health Institute (FFHI) at the University of California Davis.

Evolve CEO Dr David Kyle said his firm would “rigorously defend all of its intellectual property, and that licensed from the University of California, including taking enforcement action against any parties that employ Evolve's protected technology without permission."

Dr Kyle spoke this year at Probiota​, where he outlined methods to improve the health of what he called the ‘baby microbiome’​.

The patent covered formulas, follow-on formulas and toddler beverages and had been issued in the US (USP 8425930), Germany, France, and the UK.

Danone was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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