Krill in (and out) of court

Published by FiskerForum, 22-04-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

What promised to be a protracted legal battle between Norway’s krill catchers has been partly averted as AkerBiomarine’s complaint at the International Trade Commission (ITC), has been withdrawn.

According to Stig Remøy of Rimfrost, the suspension of the case coincides with the opening of new opportunities for Rimfrost.

‘This is good news, demonstrating that we have been right all along. Aker Biomarine has no case, because you cannot patent nature itself,’ Stig Remøy said, adding that the patent dispute between Aker BioMarine and Rimfrost has had negative impacts on the market for krill around the world.

Originally Aker BioMarine had lodged the complaint at the International Trade Commission. alleging Rimfrost’s had infringment of several of its patents, simultaneously launching a US lawsuit against Olympic Holding, Rimfrost, Emerald Fisheries and their partners Avoca and Bioriginal.

In the suit, filed in the District Court of Delaware, Aker BioMarine claimed that the parties used Aker BioMarine’s patented processes and offered its patented krill oil products for sale.

‘Since the ITC investigation started, Olympic Holding and Emerald Fisheries have gone bankrupt and the Juvel krill harvesting vessel has been seized by creditors,’ commented an Aker BioMarine spokesman.

‘Last week, Avoca and Aker BioMarine settled their patent dispute on terms that are confidential between the parties. Considering these developments, Aker BioMarine has asked the ITC to discontinue its investigation.’

However, Aker BioMarine intends to continue to pursue its claim for patent infringement and damages from Rimfrost and Bioriginal in the pending District Court case in Delaware. 

According to Stig Remøy, Aker BioMarine has a long record of hostile behaviour towards Rimfrost.

‘What we are seeing is Aker Biomarine’s harsh methods in an attempt to gain a global krill monopoly. This will not succeed, and cannot be accepted by us. When krill licenses were allocated in 2007, the Norwegian authorities made it clear that it is in the nation's interest that licenses are distributed to multiple players.’

‘As Aker Biomarine has now unilaterally withdrawn its ITC complaint, the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will consider four of Rimfrost’s petitions against Aker Biomarine’s patents,’ he said, upbeat about the future of the company’s krill fishing opportunities.

‘Rimfrost’s ambitions with krill are extensive. Our considerable krill oil capacities allow us to market worldwide. In addition, krill has major potential in the aquaculture market. Our technology increases growth and improves health for farmed salmon,’ he said.

Source: Rimfrost, AkerBioMarine

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