Chr. Hansen and Nestlé settle HMO patent litigation

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Chr. Hansen and Nestlé settle HMO patent litigation

Related tags Chr hansen Nestlé HMO

Chr. Hansen and Nestlé have settled a legal dispute involving alleged infringements on Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO) patents arising from October 2020’s acquisition of Jennewein Biotechnologie.

In a press statement by Chr Hansen, the firm agreed to withdraw ongoing litigation in Mannheim, Germany with Nestlé withdrawing the pending oppositions against the disputed patent rights.

The Hørsholm-based bioscience company did not disclose any further details of the settlement agreement, when invited to comment.

“Chr. Hansen intends to maintain and expand the acquired portfolio of intellectual property rights covering HMOs and the production hereof and will keep enforcing such IP rights,” ​they said in the statement.

Start of dispute

The dispute’s origins began in January 2020, when Jennewein requested a court injunction to prevent Nestlé selling infant formula products that contained specific HMOs from a third-party supplier.

Jennewein believed the unnamed supplier was infringing on some of Jennewein’s patents and as such Nestlé were also implicated by selling these infant formula products containing the HMOs in question.

The products were part of Nestlé’s infant formula brand Beba Supreme, which contains the HMOs 2'-Fucosyllactose (2'-FL) and Lacto-N-Neotetraose (LNnT) purified by the patent-protected process.

In addition, Jennewein claimed to have evidence that Nestle infant formulas marketed under different trade names also included the two HMOs produced by the purification method.

Jennewein’s patent attorney Dr Andreas Hübel said the process was protected by the patents, EP 2896628​​​ and EP 3131912​​​, which describes a method for the purification of 2’-FL and LNnT from a fermentation broth.

Chr Hansen pays €310m

The dispute then took another twist in October 2020, when Chr. Hansen purchased Jennewein Biotechnologie in a €310m deal that merged the bioscience firm’s probiotic interests with the gains Jennewein made in the HMO market.

With Chr Hansen’s probiotic bacteria offerings, such as LGG and BB-12, and the microbiome-related acquisitions of UAS Labs and HSO Health Care, the actions pointed to heightened interests by the firm in upgrading current infant formulas produced and what is currently available.

The plan taps into a new premiumisation trend in infant formula that Chr. Hansen may be looking to capitalise on to create synergistic blends in the future.

While the purchase of Jennewein gave them access to a strong HMO patent portfolio, Chr Hansen also inherited the ongoing litigation with Nestlé that appears to have been resolved this week.

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

4 reasons children need MFGM, according to science

4 reasons children need MFGM, according to science

Content provided by Valio | 29-Sep-2023 | White Paper

In this white paper, Dr Anu Turpeinen discusses the ample scientific evidence showing why milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) is essential for children’s...

An Insights-driven Holistic Approach to Health

An Insights-driven Holistic Approach to Health

Content provided by Lipofoods, a Lubrizol Company | 25-Sep-2023 | Product Brochure

As they adopt the notion of holistic health, proactive consumers are driving the demand for products that have science-backed ingredients and offer sensory...

Do adults need phospholipids for good health?

Do adults need phospholipids for good health?

Content provided by Valio | 19-Sep-2023 | White Paper

Phospholipids’ beneficial effects on children’s health are well established. Less known is the vast and growing scientific evidence showing how phospholipid...

Mobility Market: Discover New Trends & Innovation

Mobility Market: Discover New Trends & Innovation

Content provided by vaneeghen | 06-Sep-2023 | White Paper

The demand for joint health products is on the rise, branching out beyond age-related issues into active nutrition and prevention; driving new opportunities...

Follow us


View more