The court handling a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Neptune Technologies and Bioressources against Israeli nutritional lipids supplier Enzymotec has agreed to stay proceedings until a re-examination of the krill oil patent at issue is completed.
The announcement follows news of a stay in a separate action filed by Neptune against Aker BioMarine and Schiff Nutrition for infringement of the same patent.
The lawsuit vs Enzymotec, filed by Neptune at the US district court in Delaware last October, claimed Enzymotec, its US subsidiary Enzymotec USA, Inc; Mercola.com Health Resources, and Azantis, infringed Neptune’s #8,030,348 patent, which covers marine phospholipids to which the omega-3s EPA and DHA are bound.
The patent is currently being re-examined by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) following a request from Aker BioMarine.
Litigation on hold
Under the terms of the deal struck by the Delaware court, the litigation is now on hold pending the conclusion of the re-examination, said Enzymotec.
“The companies jointly filed a stipulation to stay the case until the USPTO issues an Action Closing Prosecution in the pending inter partes reexamination of the ‘348 patent.”
Commenting on the lawsuit last year, Enzymotec chief executive Dr Ariel Katz said: "I am convinced that these patent's claims are invalid, unenforceable and not infringed based on prior art and severe faults in the process conducted by Neptune at the US Patent Office."
Should Neptune prevail it the litigation, it could stop rivals from selling krill oil products in the US without first negotiating some kind of licensing deal with Neptune.