Securing victory in US Federal Court appeal

Date: 03.01.2024Source: Sweegen

Sweegen has announced a landmark victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has sided with Sweegen and affirmed the invalidation of PureCircle’s patents covering the highly sought-after stevia sweetener Rebaudioside M (Reb M).

Sweegen is the primary producer of non-GMO Reb M originating from the stevia leaf, made with a proprietary clean bioconversion method. This appellate victory further solidifies Sweegen’s technological leadership position in the stevia sweetener industry at large.

Said Steven Chen, Sweegen’s CEO: “As one of the staunchest stewards of proprietary technologies in wellness ingredients, Sweegen has actively defended its intellectual property rights while upholding a commitment to respecting the rights of others. Throughout this litigation, we consistently asserted the invalidity of PureCircle’s patents, considering their case against Sweegen as baseless and spurious. This triumph in the U.S. Court of Appeals serves to highlight Sweegen’s dedication to principled innovation and fair competition within the industry.”

In May 2022, Sweegen secured a ground-breaking summary judgment, declaring PureCircle’s asserted patents related to the production of Reb M as invalid. The affirmation today of this judgment by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit solidifies Sweegen’s position and removes any impediments that PureCircle’s patents may have posed for producers in the United States. Specifically, the federal court’s Opinion confirmed the district court’s decision that certain claims in the patents were found invalid due to a lack of written description. Additionally, it determined that a specific claim in one of the patents is unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

Added Chen: “Sweegen’s commitment to innovation, excellence, and fair competition has been reaffirmed through the successful appeal process. This victory not only strengthens Sweegen’s position in the market but also contributes to the broader landscape of the stevia sweetener industry. Sweegen is positioned to lead the charge in shaping a landscape of limitless possibilities, delivering unparalleled sweetness to consumers and driving positive change on a global scale.”

In Nov. 2023, Sweegen announced it was addressing the pressing issue of mislabelling within the stevia industry, specifically concerning Reb M stevia sold under intentionally false claims. Through independent testing, the company has determined that certain third-party Reb M products sold to food and beverage companies under label claims of ‘Reb-M 95%,’ ‘Bioconversion Reb-M 95%,’ or ‘Stevia (Organic) Extract Reb-M 95%’ are not made through extraction or bioconversion. Sweegen continues its investigation into the adulterated Reb M.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit case is Pure Circle Inc., et al v. Sweegen, et al., case number appeal number 2022-1946.  For more visit sweegen.com.

David Cox / IDM

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