The supplier announced this week that it now the holder of 308 separate patents in jurisdictions across the globe, including in several recent patents granted in Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States. The portfolio includes composition, use and process patents.
The company said its patents cover familiar and successful ingredients such as its LactoSpore Bacillus coagulans probiotic, its Curcumin C3 Complex turmeric extract and its DigeZyme digestive enzyme offering. The company has also secured patents on newer ingredients such as NIgellin an extract of Nigella sativa or ‘black seed,’ which has immune system and liver health benefits, and Sabroxy, extract prepared from the dried bark of the Indian trumpet tree (Oroxylum indicum) that is used for memory support.
BioPerine led the way
Sabinsa, which was founded by Dr Muhammed Majeed in New Jersey the 1990s after a career in the pharmaceutical industry, filed its first patent in 1996 on BioPerine, its black pepper extract. Sabinsa developed the science behind the ingredient’s ability to enhance uptake of active ingredients in the digestive tract. The ingredient has become popular both for its underlying science and for its small inclusion rates. BioPerine has been shown to be effective in doses as small as 5 mg.
Dr Majeed said the company’s extensive IP portfolio, which he said be believes to be the most extensive in the industry, is a differentiator for its customers.
“I think our customer base likes the patents and the science we can develop based on the patents. Many of our customers would prefer to have patent-based science as a support to their marketing of the products,” Dr Majeed told NutraIngredients-USA.
Commitment to ‘getting it right’
While an IP portfolio doesn’t necessarily guarantee the underlying quality of the ingredients, Dr Majeed said it implies a commitment along those lines.
“A patent is more than a mark of quality. It brings in science as we re-examine every product from a biopharmaceutical point of view. This often leads to our finding new benefits not previously recognized. It’s also in some ways a guarantee of quality in that when a company invests heavily in research and supporting information for a patent application, maintaining quality to impart the promised benefits is essential to recouping that investment, “ he said.
Sabinsa has been known for aggressively defending its IP portfolio. That won’t change, Dr Majeed said, even as the company now has so many more patents to defend.
“In our case, we have proven beyond doubt that we will defend our patents. We have time and again demonstrated this in the US market. That said, it’s not always about defense. The way we view patents is getting the technology right, and presenting that to the customer, which in many ways is for their protection. We have seen safety concerns and poor quality enter the marketplace simply because no one took ownership in doing it right. A patent gives that opportunity to get it right,” he said.