Product development and contract research organization KGK Synergize and former distributor SourceOne Global Partners said they had finally settled their differences via a confidential settlement agreed by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Settlement to remain confidential
The case goes back to late 2008, when KGK said it was appointing Proprietary Nutritionals Inc (PNI) as its new distributor for its citrus-based cholesterol-lowering ingredient Sytrinol, which was previously distributed exclusively by SourceOne.
Shortly afterwards, SourceOne - which has a heart-healthy ingredient range called Cholesstrinol - accused KGK of engaging in unfair competition by threatening SourceOne, its customers and partners with patent infringement lawsuits. SourceOne wanted to establish that Cholesstrinol did not infringe Sytrinol patents held by KGK.
KGK then filed counterclaims vs SourceOne alleging patent infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition, breach of contract and deceptive trade practices.
SourceOne ceo: Pleased with the outcome
Details of the settlement - announced on January 26 - are confidential and will remain undisclosed, with both parties issuing statements saying they are “pleased to have resolved this matter on business terms in lieu of further protracted litigation”.
Asked whether it had been established that Cholesstrinol does not infringe Sytrinol patents held by KGK, SourceOne chief executive Jesse Lopez told NutraIngredients-USA: “Indeed the patents are valid and enforceable and we are pleased to have SourceOne’s Cholesstrinol formulations protected by patents 6,239,114, 6,251,400 and 6,987,125.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this litigation.”
He added: "We will continue to advance the clinical evidence, building on the scientific basis for these natural polymethoxylated flavone (PMF) palm tocotrienol and limonoid ingredients while educating consumers and building global awareness of the many benefits of supplementation.”
KGK: ‘KGK’s patents remain valid and enforceable.’
Meanwhile,KGK chief executive Najla Guthrie claimed KGK’s patents also remained “valid and enforceable”.
Guthrie added: “We look forward to continued growth in sales of Sytrinol through our partner, PNI, and working with current and future distributors to offer this innovative cholesterol ingredient to consumers globally.”
Chicago-based SourceOne’s Cholesstrinol family of heart healthy formulas includes Omega Choice Concentrated Omega-3 EPA/DHA fish oil; CoQsource and CoQsource QH Ubiquinol Bio-Enhanced Coenzyme Q10; AlivEL 100 Eurycoma longifolia; and SterolSource Phytosterols.
The product line also includes TocoSource Palm Tocotrienols; GammaSource Mixed Tocopherols; and PMF-source Citrus Flavonoids (PMF).
Ontario-based KGK’s Sytrinol formula is derived from citrus and palm fruit extracts and combines polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs), delta, gamma, and alpha tocotrienols and other proprietary ingredient components.
KGK claims it lowers total cholesterol, LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increases HDL (‘good’) cholesterol and also serves as a “powerful anti-oxidant with numerous heart health benefits including the reduction of arterial plaque, improved glycemic control and reduced blood platelet aggregation”.