ZeaVision Settles Two Patent Suits, Roche Suit Pending

September 19, 2003

1 Min Read
ZeaVision Settles Two Patent Suits, Roche Suit Pending

ST. LOUIS--A lawsuit over zeaxanthin composition and method of use patents has been partially settled. The suit was filed by St. Louis-based ZeaVision LLC in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri on earlier this year against Geres Dengle Co., Vitamin Science Inc., Roche Vitamins Inc., and Roche's two Swiss affiliates, F. Hoffmann La-Roche AG and Roche Vitamins Ltd.

Geres Dengle and Vitamin Science signed consent decrees recognizing the validity and enforceability of the ZeaVision patents and agreeing to cease and desist from further infringement. As part of the settlement, ZeaVision granted the settling defendants non-exclusive, royalty-bearing licenses to market and sell supplements containing zeaxanthin in doses not exceeding 2 mg/d. The suit is still pending with the Roche companies.

ZeaVision holds a number of U.S. patents on the composition and use of zeaxanthin. The patents at issue are U.S. Patent No. 5,747,544 (use of zeaxanthin for macular degeneration) and U.S. Reissue Patent No. 38,099 (compositions, pills, tablets and capsules containing zeaxanthin). According to counsel for ZeaVision, the company is awaiting a judge's ruling regarding Roche's Swiss affiliates, which have filed motions to dismiss the suit. Roche Vitamins Inc., based in Parsippany, N.J., did not file to dismiss and has filed its response to the case.

Roche Vitamins Inc. released a statement contesting the lawsuit's merit and reiterating its intent to vigorously challenge ZeaVision's claims. "ZeaVision's settlements with Geres Dengle and Vitamin Sciences do not affect Roche Vitamins nor our challenge of ZeaVision's patents," a Roche spokesperson told INSIDER.

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