Sabinsa's patent has been called into question recently and the corporation announced in November it was taking legal action against DNP International for allegedly infringing patents protecting the use of its BioPerine and Forslean extracts.
Intellectual property is tantamount to the dietary supplement industry's bread and butter - the pay off that makes years of research and development worthwhile. As such, not only is patent infringement illegal, but it is also a threat to profits of the actual patent holders.
"This independent review ensures that all claims outlined in thispatent are valid, and that companies selling piperine containingblack pepper extracts for the express or implied purpose of nutrientabsorption enhancement are clearly infringing on this patent," said Sabinsa president, Todd Norton. "There really is no other purpose or application for using piperine in nutritionalformulations."
The New Jersey-based ingredients supplier alleges that DNP has marketed and distributed BioPerine black pepper extract and Forslean coleus forskohlii extract for uses Sabinsa has held the rights to since the late 1990s.
"We hope that any company illegally selling black pepper extracts will cease and desist immediately," said Norton.
Bioperine is a standardized black pepper extract that contains 95 percent of piperine, which is said to bind to so-called Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid (TRPV1) receptors in the brain and other parts of the nervous system. This triggers metabolic processes favoring the flow of nutrients in the body.
Sabinsa claims to have brought more than 50 standardized botanical extracts to market. The company employs over 100 scientists who conduct ongoing research in India and the United States, in order to develop and patent more phytonutrients.