The order, issued on February 2, 2012, states that the litigation will be stayed until the USPTO issues an "Action Closing Prosecution" in the inter partes reexamination of the U.S. Patent No. 8,030,348 (the "'348 patent"). The validity of the claims of the '348 patent were called into question when, on December 19, 2011, the USPTO granted Aker BioMarine's request for reexamination and issued an initial rejection of all 21 of the patent's claims. The Delaware Court's order follows a stipulation by both the Defendants and Neptune seeking that the Delaware litigation be put on hold until the USPTO reaches a final determination as to the validity of the claims in the '348 patent. Aker BioMarine expects that the USPTO may take 18 to 24 months to reach its decision.
"As we have previously told the industry, in 89% of cases where reexamination is granted the patent claims are either changed (45%) or cancelled completely (44%). Consequently, we expect this lawsuit to go away following the USPTO's decision,"says Aker BioMarine's EVP for Sales and Marketing, Mr Matts Johansen.
About SuperbaTM Krill Oil
Superba(TM) Krill Oil is a pure, natural source of the health-promoting EPA & DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids and the naturally occurring antioxidant astaxanthin. The uniqueness of SuperbaTM Krill Oil is that the omega-3 fatty acids are provided in phospholipid form. In vitro, in vivo and human clinical research has demonstrated the safety and efficacy of SuperbaTM Krill Oil.
About Aker BioMarine Antarctic
Aker BioMarine Antarctic is an integrated biotechnology company dedicated to the sustainable harvesting of krill and development of krill-derived biotech products. The company supplies biomarine ingredients through an optimized value chain from raw materials to customers. Aker BioMarine Antarctic's SuperbaTM Krill products are provided with 100% traceability from the Antarctic sea to the end user. Only Aker's krill fishery has been awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Certification.