Friday, November 9, 2007

More on Omega patents that are dervived from botanical sources like the Omega 5 oil

Swiss life science company Lonza Group AG (LONN.VX) said Tuesday that a U.S. court has ruled that a U.S. patent held by Martek Biosciences Corp (MATK) for DHA is invalid for lack of enablement, clearing the way for DHA made by Lonza in non-food use.
On October 30, 2007 the United States District Court for the District of Delaware held that Martek's U.S. Patent No 6,451,567 covering omega-3 fatty acids ['DHA'] is invalid for lack of enablement, overturning a prior jury verdict in Martek's favor. The Court sustained two other patents, directed to a specific manufacturing process and to food products that include DHA. The ruling clears the way for Lonza DHA made by other processes for non-food uses. Lonza is considering an appeal of the other patents.

'The judge's decision is a positive development in Lonza's long term plan of bringing our microbial oil based DHA to the US market,' said Roman Quinter, Head of the Nutrition department at Lonza. 'The '567 patent was the broadest patent asserted by Martek, and we are glad that the District Court Judge realized that Martek obtained patent claims beyond that permitted by law. In the meantime, while we consider appeal, we have alternative processes options, which are covered by our own pending patents, for the manufacturing patent that was upheld by the Delaware court.'

Lonza DHA is a pure vegetarian omega-3-DHA oil. DHA is a major building block of cell membranes, especially brain, nerve tissue and the retina of the eye. Several scientific and clinical studies demonstrated the beneficial health effects for heart health, brain and eye. Dietary DHA can reduce the level of blood triglycerides in humans, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Low levels of DHA have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, and depression, among other diseases, and there is mounting evidence that DHA supplementation may be effective in combating such diseases.

The test of enablement is whether one of ordinary skill in the art can make and use the claimed invention without undue experimentation. Furthermore, under In re Wands (Fed. Cir. 1988), eight factors are relevant to the enablement analysis:

 The quantity of experimentation necessary.
 The amount of direction or guidance presented.
 The presence or absence of working examples.
 The nature of the invention.
 The state of the prior art.
 The relative skill of those in the art.
 The predictability or unpredictability of the art.
 The breadth of the claims.

Certain aspects of the POMEGA5 IP are patentable.

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