Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Possible Outcomes From Neptune’s Official Complaint Against Competitors

Neptune Technologies & Bioressources
Basic Shares: 60.0 million
Fully diluted: 67.5 million

In today’s news release, Neptune took an aggressive stance in its filing of a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against its competitors, specifically citing Section 337 of the US Tariff Act of 1930. The Commission conducts investigations into allegations of certain unfair practices in import trade. According to The U.S. International Trade Commission, “Most Section 337 investigations involve allegations of patent or registered trade marked infringements.”

What happens if the Commission finds a violation of Section 337?

“The Commission is authorized under Section 337 to issue two types of remedial orders; exclusion orders and cease and desist orders. Both types of orders may be issued in the same case. An exclusion order directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to exclude articles from entry into the United States. A cease and desist order directs a respondent in the Commission investigation to cease its unfair acts; including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory. Unlike exclusion orders, cease and desist orders are enforced by the Commission, not by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

To view a full FAQ on Section 337, click here 

Neptune is stating that its US krill oil competitors are “engaging in unfair trade practices by, at least, the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation, of certain krill-based products, namely krill paste and krill oils, that directly or indirectly infringe one or more claims of Neptune's U.S. Patent No. 8,278,351 ("the '351 Patent").” Neptune was granted its “351 Continuation Patent” in October of last year. The patent “claims the benefit of another of Neptune's U.S. Patents, No. 8,030,348, (the "Parent") and contains claims to krill extracts comprising a phospholipid suitable for human consumption”. 

Neptune expects that the ITC investigation will formally commence within the next month or so, and that the case will take a total of about 15 to 18 months to conclude.

To view today’s news release, please click here.