The Norwegian biotechnology company, Natural ASA, has received confirmation
of the strength of the company’s CLA patent portfolio as a result of a settlement
agreement reached with ArkoPharma.
ArkoPharma will not contest Natural’s assertions regarding infringement. As part of the
settlement, ArkoPharma agrees to pay compensation, and in the future to obtain CLA for
use in dietary supplements only from Natural's licensees.
”The strength of our patent portfolio, should be a wake-up call for other possible parties
involved in the production and sale of non-licensed CLA” says managing director Jostein
Dalland, who added, ”No companies can expect to derive benefits from the substantial
investment that we have made in inventions connected with CLA without purchasing
goods from one of Natural’s licensees: Cognis, Loders Croklaan/Lipid Nutrition, or BASF.
This is the core of patent law and the foundation for our investment in innovation and
intellectual property rights.”
Background to the patent lawsuit
In June 2006, Natural filed a lawsuit against ArkoPharma, a large manufacturer of dietary
supplements and health foods headquartered in France, for violation of patents involving
the use of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) as a dietary supplement. The lawsuit was filed in
the Western District of Wisconsin in conjunction with the Wisconsin Alumni Research
The plaintiffs, Natural and WARF, filed the lawsuit to ensure the patented inventions
involving CLA were respected and that the inventors as well as the licensees would
receive their rightful revenues associated with the inventions.
Natural’s CLA patent portfolio
Under a licensing agreement with WARF, Natural has exclusive licensing rights to WARF’s
CLA patents within the field of dietary supplements. The portfolio of licensed patents was
developed in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-
In addition to the portfolio of patents licensed from WARF, Natural has developed its own
patent portfolio primarily based upon proprietary syntheses, production methods and
compositions for CLA. Together, the portfolio of self-developed and licensed patents
represents a significant commercial asset for Natural, forming the basis for licensing
agreements entered into with Cognis, Loders Croklaan/Lipid Nutrition, and BASF.
Natural has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with the international
ingredient supplier Cognis, which grants exclusive rights for the production and sales of
Tonalin® on a worldwide basis. Tonalin®, Natural’s trademark involving CLA, is the
largest selling brand of CLA internationally, as a dietary supplement and food ingredient.
The composition of Tonalin® has been optimised for a fat-reducing effect and is
produced according to a proprietary process that yields the highest quality CLA available
on the market. The exclusivity given to Cognis is in addition to Tonalin®, based upon
Natural’s CLA technology, patents and licenses. The license agreement will run until 2018
with royalties based on sale of CLA/Tonalin®.
In addition to Cognis, Natural has entered into a long-term licensing agreement with
Loders Croklaan /Lipid Nutrition for Clarinol™. The license agreement will run for the life
span of the patents, and encompasses CLA in the dietary supplement market with
royalties based on sale of CLA.
For questions or clarifications, please contact Managing Director Jostein Dalland by phone
at (+47) 99 64 90 38 or E-mail at [email protected]