Kaneka Corporation v. Zhejiang Medicine Co., Ltd. et al, 2-11-cv-02389 (CACD April 5, 2018, Order) (Otero, USDJ)
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Claims of Dietary Supplement Patent Not Directed to Unpatentable Natural Phenomena
The court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment that the asserted claims of its dietary supplement patent did not encompass unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were not directed toward a natural phenomena. "Notwithstanding that the plain claim language refers to producing oxidized CoQ on an industrial scale, Defendants contend that the asserted claims are 'directed to' the natural phenomenon that certain microorganisms have the natural ability to produce at least 70 mole % reduced CoQ under standardized culturing conditions. . . . [T]he claims are 'directed to' a superior method of producing a certain end product -- in this case, efficiently creating oxidized CoQ on an industrial scale -- rather than to the inherent properties of certain biological materials. That the asserted claims rely on the ability of certain microorganisms to produce reduced CoQ at a ratio greater than 70 mole % among the entire coenzymes Q under standard culturing conditions does not indicate the claims are 'directed to' this phenomenon."