The new patent is a continuation for the current patent (no. 8,354,129: “vitamin K2 containing food product"). The original patent was approved in January 2013, but it has been further strengthened by the approval of patent no. 8,728,553 (“ex-Unilever") re. “vitamin containing product."
“The new patent provides NattoPharma a patented exclusive right to tell users of vitamin K2 that supplements and foods containing 5 to 5,000 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin K2 per 100 grams of product have positive health effects," said NattoPharma CEO Hogne Vik. “While we have only had ‘exclusive rights’ for such claims for amounts from 5 to 200 mcg of vitamin K2 per 100 grams of product, almost every vitamin K2-enriched food product and dietary supplement in the United States will be covered by NattoPharma’s patent continuation, which gives us a unique market position."
According to Vik, there is an increasing number of finished products and supplements containing vitamin K2 in the American market, and these products are recommended to maintain, optimize, enhance and safeguard the health of an individual’s heart and blood vessels.
“Only products containing vitamin K2 (in amounts of from 5 to 5,000 mcg per 100 grams) purchased from NattoPharma have the legal right to make such health claims," he said. “The approval of the patent is an important milestone for NattoPharma and our partners in the United States, as it will further strengthen NattoPharma's global patent platform and the competitive position in the United States."
Vik says that NattoPharma has invested considerable resources in technology development and patenting around vitamin K2, and that the company is actively using and will use patents—through patent life—as a competitive advantage for companies that buy vitamin K2 from NattoPharma.