Sweegen Triumphs in Federal Court Appeal, Securing Victory Against PureCircle
The Federal Circuit decision removes any lingering doubt that Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) customers may be encumbered by PureCircle’s patents for using Sweegen’s Reb M.
Foothill Ranch, Calif., Jan. 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sweegen, the global leader in pioneering wellness ingredient and taste modulation technologies, 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.
Reb M, a highly coveted steviol glycoside molecule, plays a crucial role in the global production of stevia sweeteners. This Federal Circuit decision removes any lingering doubt that Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) customers may be encumbered by PureCircle’s patents for using Sweegen’s Reb M.
“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,” stated Sweegen’s CEO Steven Chen. “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 groundbreaking 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.
“Sweegen’s commitment to innovation, excellence, and fair competition has been reaffirmed through the successful appeal process,” said Chen. “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.”
Sweegen remains committed to driving positive change within the sweetener industry and will continue to invest in research and development to deliver cutting-edge solutions to its global customer base.
In Nov. 2023, Sweegen announced it was addressing the pressing issue of mislabeling 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.
This Appeal is from the first summary judgment case PureCircle USA Inc., et al. v. Sweegen, Inc., et al., case number 8:18-CV-01679-JVS-JDE, in the United States District Court, Central District of California, Southern Division, Judge James V. Selna. Sweegen was represented at both the US District Court and the Federal Circuit by John Christopher “JC” Rozendaal, Dennies Varughese, Michael E. Joffre, Anna G. Phillips, and Sasha Rao of the law firm Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC.
Sweegen provides sweet taste solutions for food and beverage manufacturers around the world.
We are on a mission to reduce the sugar and artificial sweeteners in our global diet. Partnering with customers, we create delicious zero-sugar products that consumers love. With the best modern sweeteners in our portfolio, such as Bestevia® Rebs B, D, E, I, M, and N, and brazzein, along with our deep knowledge of flavor taste modulators and texturants, Sweegen delivers market-leading solutions that customers want, and consumers prefer. Well. Into the Future.
- The Federal Circuit decision removes any lingering doubt that Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) customers may be encumbered by PureCircle’s patents for using Sweegen’s Reb M.
CONTACT: Ana Capretz, Head of Public Relations and Communications Sweegen +1.949.709.0583 [email protected]
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