PIVEG Successfully Defends Patent Infringement Lawsuit

CELAYA, Mexico, May 12, 2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The U.S. District Court in Des Moines, Iowa, has entered a ruling that allows Pigmentos Vegetales del Centro (PIVEG) to continue marketing its purified lutein produced without the use of propylene glycol. Kemin Industries U.S. Patent No. 5,648,564 protects a process that uses propylene glycol for isolation, purification and recrystallizaton of lutein from saponified marigold oleoresin. The court declared that in order to infringe on Kemin Industries U.S. Patent No. 5,648,564, propylene glycol must be used in the process. PIVEG has not used propylene glycol as part of its lutein production process since 2003 and, as such, its no propylene glycol process was not enjoined by the Court.

Previously, the jury found and the court affirmed that PIVEG did not infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,382,714, licensed to Kemin Foods, which protects a carotenoid composition with particular levels of lutein and other carotenoids and is specifically directed to lutein from Marigold flower petals. The legal ramifications of these rulings are that PIVEG's Mariglo(TM) brand Lutein products are the only court-proven non-infringing lutein products currently on the market.

Lutein is a powerful antioxidant that supports eye health, and has been researched extensively in relation to macular degeneration. PIVEG's Mariglo brand Lutein is 100 percent natural and derived from purified marigold flower carotenoids. PIVEG Mariglo Lutein is available in 5 and |25 percent beadlets, 20 and 30 percent oil and 70 percent powder.

PIVEG is a global supplier of carotenoids to the feed, food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries with a 35-year history of manufacturing carotenoid pigments of the highest quality. PIVEG has highly specialized carotenoid production and development capabilities -- from seed to concentrate -- including the propagation and production of nutrition grade Lutein and Zeaxanthin. PIVEG has 15,000 acres of marigolds in cultivation, which are processed in one of five plants in Mexico, two in Peru and a state-of-the-art concentration facility in Celaya. To learn more about PIVEG's global capabilities visit www.piveg.com.

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