On November 21, 2016, OmniActive Health Technologies (OmniActive) filed two inter partes review petitions with the United States Patent and Trademark Office challenging the patentability of two patents of Kemin Industries (Kemin): U.S. Patent Nos. 8,815,955 and 9,226,940. OmniActive believes that every single one of Kemin’s claims in these patents will be found unpatentable and canceled.
The two patents that are now subject to the Patent Office challenge are the same patents that OmniActive first challenged in a declaratory judgment filing in New Jersey in August and that are now the subject of the investigation instituted on November 20, 2016, by Kemin against OmniActive in the U.S. International Trade Commission.
“OmniActive has consistently maintained that Kemin’s allegations of infringement are unfounded. We also believe these patents are invalid and that they never should have been granted by the Patent Office. Our petitions filed with the Patent Office today vividly demonstrate this to be the case,” said Abhijit Bhattacharya, OmniActive’s president. “We are standing up for the industry by sending a message that those of us who innovate need to oppose unsubstantiated patent-related threats that seek to prevent fresh and innovative new products with scientific substantiation from reaching the general public.”
OmniActive’s petitions bring to the Patent Office’s attention scientific publications that were publicly available before Kemin filed its patents—scientific publications that the Patent Office never considered when granting Kemin’s patents. The scientific publications that form the basis of these petitions show Kemin’s claim of innovation—that these patents were the first to show how ocular antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, filter blue light to help protect individual’s eyes – to be demonstrably false. Finally, these petitions show that there are no new concepts contained in Kemin’s patents, and they are invalid as being, at a minimum, “obvious” over the prior art.
Inter Partes Review proceedings were created by Congress in 2011 as part of the “America Invents Act.” One of the main purposes of these proceedings is to give individuals accused of infringement a fast, efficient process to challenge bad patents. OmniActive’s petitions show that Kemin’s patents should never have been granted.
“As an innovation-driven company, OmniActive respects patents and intellectual property. We also believe that a solid body of science exists in the public domain supporting macular carotenoids—science done by scores of scientists and researchers that preceded Kemin’s patents. We are taking this action to ensure our customers can continue to innovate based not only on the solid body of long-existing science but on the multiple human clinicals in which OmniActive has invested that demonstrate meaningful benefits of macular carotenoid supplementation for visual function and mental acuity in healthy individuals using our proprietary Lutemax 2020 composition. This research not only supports differentiated, substantiated claims, but also helps our customers bring exciting, new products to the market,” continued Bhattacharya. “OmniActive will continue to innovate so that we can bring novel, science-based and clinically proven concepts for the general population which our industry can use in keeping with regulatory guidelines across the world. We continue to stand behind our products, customers and marketing campaigns, while continuing to reject Kemin’s unfounded allegations of infringement.”
About OmniActive Health Technologies, Inc.
OmniActive Health Technologies (www.omniactives.com) offers a range of quality ingredients, that are innovative and scientifically validated to address complex challenges for customers in the dietary supplement, food and beverage space using technology-driven, sustainable solutions with application support within a global regulatory framework. OmniActive’s core products include carotenoids, plant extracts and specialty functional ingredients. The company develops IP-protected, science-backed branded ingredients from natural sources using cutting edge technologies. OmniActive leverages international R&D strengths to deploy an array of state of the art manufacturing technologies in extraction, purification, isolation and delivery of nutritional actives. Clinical research – geared towards demonstrating efficacy and claim substantiation – is the cornerstone of OmniActive’s R&D activities. The company’s centers of excellence are located in North America and India, whereas its company’s cGMP and HACCP system-compliant manufacturing operations are located at multiple sites in India. Whether looking for a new ingredient to add to a finished product, or technology to enhance an existing ingredient, OmniActive delivers unmatched innovation.