Aker fied its petition with theUnited States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) seeking a review of Neptune’s US Patent No. 8,383,675 (the 675 patent). The 675 patent contains a single claim to a capsule containing a krill extract with what is termed "novel phospholipids." The patent is one of two that is the basis for a case brought by Quebec-based Neptune against Aker and Isreal-based Enzymotec before the International Trade Commission. A hearing in that case is scheduled for mid December.
Patent called over broad
Aker, based in Norway, contends that the “novel phospholipids” are contained naturally within krill and that therefore the patent is over broad. Neptune, for its part, says that the ITC case decision will come before the USPTO gets around to ruling on the validity of one of the patents on which it is based.
In addition to the patent struggles in North America, the two companies have battled over IP in Australia and Europe. In another recent development in the so-called krill wars, Neptune came to a licensing and manufacturing agreement with Norway-based Olympic Seafood, the newest entrant to the krill field, which markets a line of krill oil ingredients under the Rimfrost brand.