The Tawnsaura Group (aka Newport Trial) suffered a crushing defeat yesterday, when Judge Otero granted the defendants motion for summary judgment and ruled that patents US5874471 and US6028107 entitled ’Orthomolecular medical use of L-citrulline for vasoprotection, relaxative smooth muscle tone and cell protection’ are invalid as a matter of law. Here the details of the former patents:
- 5,874,471: “Orthomolecular medical use of L-citrulline for vasoprotection, relaxative smooth muscle tone and cell protection” by Waugh.. Includes 30 claims (1 indep.). Was application 08/961,639. Filed 10/30/1997 & Granted 2/23/1999.
- 6,028,107: “Orthomolecular medical use of L-citrulline for vasoprotection, relaxative smooth muscle tone and cell protection” by Waugh.. Includes 19 claims (1 indep.). Was application 08/807,757. Filed 2/27/1997 & Granted 2/22/2000.
Just prior to the ruling, Tawnsaura scrmbled to secure
extortive payoffs licensing fees from the defendants who were actively fighting the trolls. The patents were originally issued on Feb 23, 1999 and Feb 22, 2000 to inventor William Howard Waugh and would have expired on Feb 27, 2017. Tawnsaura purchased the patents with no intention of using them to release any products, but rather to demand money from people who had products they claimed were infringing (half the supplement world). What happened initially, was that numerous companies (who must feel like complete twats, now) simply paid the trolls off to “license” their patent – which is now invalid. The remaining companies, the ones who sacked up, showed some integrity, and refused to be extorted, then proceeded to kick the ever loving sh!t out of Tawnsaura, by invalidating their patents. Let’s hope that there was a net loss of time and money for the trolls (furthermore let’s hope that the companies who secured the judgment now file for their legal fees), and that their other patent cases go the same way – remember, these guys are also Harcol (another patent troll) and additionally represent the biggest patent troll in the supplement industry (third biggest in the country), Thermolife (who also got the sh!t kicked out of them for their now-invalid DAA patent, as well as losing in epic fashion a huge Lanham Act case against Gaspari Nutrition).
Yesterday was a good day for the good guys – let’s hope there’s more in the future.