On May 14, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued an Action Closing Prosecution (ACP) in a reexamination requested by Aker BioMarine of patent number 8,030,348 (the '348 patent) assigned to Neptune and containing claims to phospholipid extracts from krill. Aker BioMarine believed the claims should never have been granted in the first place and thus filed for reexamination.
In a press release from Dec. 22, 2011, after the USPTO decision to grant Aker BioMarine's request for re-examination of the '348 patent, which was the first patent to issue in Neptune's US phospholipid patent family, Neptune's President and CEO Henri Harland stated: "Neptune welcomes the opportunity to again vet the patentability of our claims before the USPTO as we are confident that the claims of the patent will be reconfirmed, notwithstanding Aker's misleading characterization of the alleged prior art."
This action comes on the heels of a Jan. 25, 2013, USPTO decision rejecting all 97 claims in Neptune's '825 method of use patent and the April 9, 2013, final revocation of their EP1417211B1patent by the European Patent Office.
Matts Johansen, Aker BioMarine's COO, stated: "As with Neptune's method of use patent the USPTO's reexamination unit has rejected all the claims of the '348 patent as unpatentable. It also sends a clear message that Neptune's continuation patents (patent numbers 8,278,351 and 8,383,675) will not likely stand similar testing at the USPTO or at the ITC. We would urge Neptune to reconsider its current litigation strategy before all involved parties accrue substantial legal costs at no apparent benefit to Neptune."