Des Moines, IA—On October 6, 2016, Kemin Industries, Inc., announced that it had filed acomplaintwith the International Trade Commission (ITC) against OmniActive Health Technologies, Inc., and is seeking an investigation and exclusion order to stop OmniActive from importing products that infringe Kemin’s patents.

Kemin’s complaint is in response to OmniActive’sdeclaratory judgment lawsuit, filed in August 2016, which requests a determination that OmniActive does not infringe Kemin’s patents (U.S. Patent 8,815,955 & U.S. Patent 9,226,940).

OmniActive filed its suit after Kemin allegedly threatened a patent lawsuit and demanded OmniActive cease and desist the marketing campaign “What’s Your B.L.U.E?” and all marketing of OmniActive’s Luetmax 2020, which are both geared towards “supporting consumers eye health” by “combating blue and ultraviolet light damage” with ingredients such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

“OmniActive has been discussing the well-established blue light protection and antioxidant functions of the macular carotenoids as they relate to Lutemax 2020 since the brand’s 2009 launch and earlier,” said Abhijit Bhattacharya, OmniActive’s president, in a press release. “[OmniActive] has launched two successful branded educational campaigns over the last several years – Lutein for Every Age and What’s Your B.L.U.E.? – and has completed 5 human clinical trials over the last 18 months. Kemin does not seem to have any new research in this area, and their approach to 'innovation' only seems to be litigation.”

According to Kemin’s complaint, Kemin’s FloraGLO is the “only lutein brand, supported by a patent that shows how ocular antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, filter blue light to help protect individual’s eyes.”

Kemin also notes that OmniActive has not been asked to stop selling Lutemax 2020, but for OmniActive to simply respect Kemin’s patent rights.

“Kemin remains committed to protecting its intellectual property,” said Chris Nelson, Ph.D., president and CEO of Kemin Industries, in a press release. “If that means we need to stop OmniActive from importing into the United States to protect our patents, then we will do so. We remain hopeful that OmniActive will work with us to grow the global usage of lutein and zeaxanthin, which will benefit everyone.”

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online 10/21/2016