DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 8, 2003) - A federal court has ruled that Pigmentos Vegetales (PIVEG) may not sell its purified lutein product suitable for human consumption on the grounds that it violates a patent held by Kemin Foods, makers of FloraGLO® brand Lutein. This affirms the composition patent for lutein Kemin holds with its U.S. patent 5,382,714.
The U.S. Federal District Court for the Southern District of Iowa ruled on Jan. 2, 2003, in favor of a preliminary injunction against Pigmentos Vegetales (PIVEG), a Mexican manufacturer of poultry pigments, to prevent further infringement of Kemin patent 5,382,714. The outcome prohibits PIVEG from making, using, importing or selling within the United States, purified lutein crystals from plant extracts suitable for human consumption. This injunction will be in effect until a full trial of the court case between Kemin Foods and PIVEG is realized.
"Kemin is thrilled with the judge’s granting of this preliminary injunction," says Rodney L. Ausich, Ph.D., president of Kemin Foods. "We feel this serves as a initial indication that PIVEG’s product infringed on the patent Kemin holds for purified lutein products suitable for human consumption."
The lawsuit filed on July 9, 2002, asked for an injunction against the defendant’s
continued infringement of U.S. patent 5,382, 714. United States Letters Patent
5,382,714 is titled "Process for Isolation, Purification and Recrystallization of Lutein from Saponified Marigold Oleoresin and Uses Thereof". The lawsuit states the patent was duly and legally issued to The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., on Jan. 17, 1995. Kemin Foods is the exclusive licensee of the patent.
"Kemin Foods has invested significantly in the market for lutein in the United States. Through these investments our customers and consumers have realized the benefits of lutein. We will continue to pursue these investments and protect the market for FloraGLO Lutein," Ausich says.
Kemin's FloraGLO Lutein is the leading brand of purified lutein formulated in more than 100 multivitamins and dietary supplements worldwide. FloraGLO Lutein is the only purified lutein that is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) for specific food and beverage applications in the United States. Growing scientific evidence shows a clear association between a diet rich in lutein and decreased risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, a disease that causes irreversible blindness.1-7
Kemin Foods, L.C. is a global manufacturer and marketer of natural ingredients for the food, dietary supplement and personal care markets. Headquartered in Des Moines, the company is part of Kemin Industries, Inc., which has manufacturing facilities in Iowa, Texas, Belgium, India, Singapore and Thailand. To learn more about Kemin Foods and FloraGLO brand Lutein, visit www.FloraGLOLutein.com.
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