COLUMBIA, Md., Nov 12, 2004 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Martek Biosciences Corporation (MATK) today announced that its European DHA/ARA Oil Blends Patent was revoked in a proceeding that was held in Munich, Germany by the European Patent Office on November 11, 2004. The hearing was the result of challenges made by two potential competitors of the Company. The Company intends, within the next few days, to file an appeal that will automatically reinstate the patent so that it will remain in force during the appeal process. The appeal process is anticipated to exceed two years. The Company believes that it has substantive grounds for the appeal and intends to vigorously pursue the matter.
In addition to the DHA/ARA Oil Blends Patent affected by yesterday's ruling, the Company has also been granted patents in the United States, Europe and certain other areas of the world covering its individual DHA and ARA technology. It has also been granted a patent in the United States and certain other countries on certain mixtures of DHA and ARA when used in infant formula and nutritional supplements.
Management believes that the outcome of this matter will not have a short- term impact on the Company's sales into the infant formula industry due to its other issued patents and the automatic reinstatement process. However, it is possible that if the European DHA/ARA Oil Blends Patent matter is not resolved favorably, in the long term the Company could experience increased competition that may result in decreased sales in Europe.
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding certain patent matters and the potential impact upon future sales of Martek's products. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause future actual results to differ due to a variety of risk factors, including without limitations those factors set forth in Exhibit 99.1 to the Company's Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2004 and from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Martek Biosciences Corporation develops, manufactures and sells products from microalgae. The Company's products include: (1) specialty, nutritional oils for infant formula that aid in the development of the eyes and central nervous system in newborns; (2) nutritional supplements and food ingredients that may play a beneficial role in promoting mental and cardiovascular health throughout life; and (3) new, powerful fluorescent markers for diagnostics, rapid miniaturized screening, and gene and protein detection.