Thursday, 6 September 2012

Roth Capital Reiterates Buy On Heels Of Strong Neptune Response To Competitor’s Australian Patent Claim

Neptune Technologies & Bioressources
TSX: NTB - NASDAQ: NEPT
Basic Shares: 48.2 million
Fully diluted: 53.9 million
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First thing this morning, Neptune issued a tough response to a news release issued yesterday from Norway based, Aker Biomarine. Neptune states, Aker is “attempting to confuse the krill market following the Australian patent authorities' decision to uphold a few claims of its Australian patent numbered AU2008231570.”  

Neptune clearly lays out why this patent does not impact Neptune’s proprietary solvent extraction method.

“On August 3, 2012, the Australian Patent Office issued a Re-Examination Report wherein it confirmed Neptune's position that Aker's claims to a krill oil production process lacked the requisite novelty and inventive step and therefore were invalid. Aker's AU2008231570 patent is now limited to narrow composition claims that contain specific percentages and amounts of both ether phospholipids and astaxanthin. In the AU2008231570 patent, krill oil with these specific percentages and amounts of ether phospholipids and astaxanthin are purportedly obtained through solvent and supercritical extractions, extraction processes that are much more expensive than the solvent extraction method used by Neptune.”

Two key pieces of information, Neptune also lays out, “Aker itself, in the text of AU2008231570, makes the point that NKO® does not fall within the narrow specific percentages and amounts required by the claims that survived re-examination. Also, Neptune was exploiting or had taken definite steps to exploit its krill oil prior to the earliest claimed priority date of Aker's patent application and therefore, under Australian patent law, has a complete defense to infringement due to prior use. This means that Aker's patent is unenforceable in relation to NKO®.”

To view the news release please click here.