The New Jersey-based ingredients supplier has held rights to the extract in the US since the late 1990s. Canadian patent 2,247,467 protects the use of piperine as a bioavailability enhancer and affirms it is the only black pepper extract that can be legally used in dietary supplements for such purposes in the country. Obtaining intellectual property is an uphill battle for nutraceutical companies - many of whom want to become global players with their ingredients, while also protecting their research and development investments. 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. "The Canadian patent for Bioperine represents over ten years of concerted and sustained effort, and we are particularly pleased with the successful outcome," said Vladimir Badmaev, vice president of scientific and medical affairs at Sabinsa. The company said it recently secured a Japanese patent for the ingredient - adding to the ones it already holds in the US and Europe. "….we continue our efforts to protect the clinically tested benefits of our invention against potential infringement," said Badmaev. According to Sabinsa, its US patent for "use of piperine as a bioavailability enhancer" has undergone formal review from the US Patent and Trademark Office, which concluded all points outlined were valid. The company's patent was called into question in a legal dispute with DNP International over patents protecting the use of BioPerine and Forslean extracts. 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.