LAVAL, Quebec, Jan. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. (" Neptune") (Nasdaq:NEPT ) (TSX:NTB) announces that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (the " USPTO") has allowed a second continuation patent application, application number 13/545,830, which claims the benefit of prior Neptune U.S. Patents No. 8,030,348 ("the ' 348 Patent") and 8,278,351 ("the ' 351 Patent").
This second continuation application contains only a single claim, which is directed to a capsule comprising an Antarctic krill oil extract comprising a phospholipid suitable for human consumption. This claim covers most, if not all, krill oil products presently sold in the U.S. market.
This second continuation application, which was filed less than six (6) months ago, was allowed by the USPTO after a thorough examination. During prosecution, Neptune provided the USPTO with all prior art references and other materials, including all the documents referred to in all of the re-examination requests filed by Aker Biomarine ASA (" Aker") directed to the '348 and '351 Patents, as well as all the documents relating to the oppositions currently underway on related Neptune patents in Europe and Australia.Tina Sampalis, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Global Strategy Officer of Neptune, stated: "This single claim patent, which will be granted shortly, not only covers Neptune's krill oil products but also the krill oil products of our competitors. The fact that the USPTO has allowed a second continuation patent is an indication to us that all the prior art, experimental evidence, and arguments submitted by Aker in the different re-examination and opposition proceedings relating to the other Neptune patents have no merit. It is becoming more and more difficult for our competitors to downplay or disregard Neptune's patent estate." "We are continuously building and strengthening our intellectual property assets. Despite the tragic events suffered by Neptune on November 8, 2012, we are committed to maintaining our pioneering role in the krill oil industry and we intend to fully enforce our patents against anyone who infringes," she added.