Natural ASA Announces Patent, Licensing Decisions

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LYSAKER, NorwayNatural ASA entered into long-term licensing agreements with Cognis and Loders Croklaan for its conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) intellectual property. The agreement with Cognis grants exclusive rights for the production and sales of Tonalin®, Natural’s CLA trademark, on a worldwide basis. The exclusivity is in addition to Tonalin, based on Natural’s CLA technology, patents and licenses; the license agreement will run until 2018, with royalties based on sale of CLA/Tonalin.

Natural also entered into a long-term licensing agreement with Loders Croklaan/Lipid Nutrition for Clarinol™ CLA; the license agreement will run for the span of the patents and covers CLA in the dietary supplement market with royalty payments to Natural.

Natural ASA also reached a settlement agreement with ArkoPharma over a lawsuit filed by Natural in 2006 alleging infringement of the CLA patents. ArkoPharma is not contesting the assertions on infringement; it will pay compensation and, in the future, 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” said Jostein Dalland, managing director, Natural ASA (www.natural.no). “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.”

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