COLUMBIA, Md., Oct 23, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Martek Biosciences Corporation (MAT) today announced that a three-judge panel of a district court in Dusseldorf, Germany, has orally announced a judgment in favor of Martek in the company's patent infringement suit against (i) Lonza Ltd., (ii) Celanese Ventures GmbH and (iii) Nutrinova Nutrition Specialties & Food Ingredients GmbH. In a separate suit against Lichtwer Pharma GmbH, one of Nutrinova's customers, a similar judgment was announced. The first suit involves Lonza's German sale and use of a fatty acid product currently marketed under the brand name Lonza DHA for use in functional foods and dietary supplements. The second suit involves Lichtwer's German sale and use of a DHA-containing oil in a supplement marketed under the brand name AMEU(R) Alge. The Martek patent that has been infringed is European Patent No. 0 515 460 relating to microbial oils containing at least 35% DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
The court is expected to deliver its written judgments within thirty days. The decisions may be appealed by Lonza and Lichtwer to the higher regional court in Dusseldorf. The patent infringed by Lonza and Lichtwer has been the subject of opposition proceedings at the European Patent Office since 1999 and a final resolution of those proceedings is expected at some time in the second half of 2008. In October 2006, a jury in a U.S. federal district court in Delaware determined that Lonza's DHA activities in the functional food and dietary supplement areas infringed three U.S. Martek patents.
"We are very pleased that the court found that the actions of Lonza and Lichtwer infringe this European DHA patent of Martek. The decision further demonstrates both the company's resolve to vigorously defend its intellectual property portfolio and the strength of Martek's patent portfolio in the marketplace," said Steve Dubin, CEO of Martek.
About Martek Biosciences
Martek Biosciences Corporation (MATK) is a leader in the innovation and development of DHA omega-3 products that promote health and wellness through every stage of life. The company produces life'sDHA(TM), a sustainable and vegetarian source of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), for use in foods, beverages, infant formula, and supplements. The company also produces life'sARA(TM) (arachidonic acid), an omega-6 fatty acid, from a sustainable, vegetarian source, for use in infant formula. For more information on Martek Biosciences Corporation, visit http://www.martek.com.
Sections of this release contain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning the course and outcome of current and future legal proceedings and the strength of Martek's patent portfolio. These statements are based upon numerous assumptions which Martek cannot control and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. For instance, Martek cannot predict with certainty any events associated with the litigation and appeal process, the future actions of Lonza or Lichtwer, the future actions of Martek's customers or prospective customers or the competitive and financial impact of any final court decision on the value of Martek's intellectual property. These statements should be understood in light of the risk factors set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to, the Company's Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K.