July 24, 2006
MADISON, Wis.—The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, here, alleging Health From the Sun, the Bedford, Mass., subsidiary of Arkopharma, sold supplements containing conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) not purchased in accordance with patents held by three University of Wisconsin researchers. The suit claims in selling such products, Health From the Sun has caused the university to lose money and has harmed Natural Nutrition Ltd., the Norway-based company holding the exclusive license with the university.
Health From the Sun sells dietary supplements containing CLA under the names ThermaPower CLA and SunPower CLA, but the company reportedly did not buy or license the ingredient from Natural Nutrition, as have other companies such as Cognis Health & Nutrition. Awarded in 1996 and 1998, the patents cover the use of CLA in the health food and health supplements arena for creating “a sculpted, athletic looking body.” The suit pointed out Health From the Sun’s Web site calls CLA “an important fatty acid that helps naturally sculpt your body.
“WARF has provided opportunities for Arkopharma to settle this matter, but Arkopharma has continued to sell products that infringe WARF’s patent,” said Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF. “While we were not anxious to use the courts to enforce our patent rights, Arkopharma’s behavior has required us to bring this action.” Thus, WARF is requesting the court force Health From the Sun to stop selling the CLA products and pay unspecified damages.
“No one should expect to benefit commercially from the outstanding results obtained by WARF and Natural ASA without purchasing the CLA material from one of our licensees,” said Jostein Dalland, managing director of Natural Nutrition. “This is the nature of patent law.”
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