MADISON – The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Natural ASA
have filed a federal patent infringement lawsuit charging Arkopharma, a manufacturer of nutritional supplements based in France.
WARF and Natural, a Norwegian company, filed their suit today against
Arkopharma and its U.S. subsidiary, Health from the Sun, in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Wisconsin.
Arkopharma does business in the United States through its wholly owned subsidiary, Health
from the Sun, located in Bedford, Mass.
A WARF spokesman said the foundation brought the suit to ensure the interests of UW-Madison and
its inventors and licensee are protected, and that WARF receives the royalties that would have
been earned under the terms of a worldwide exclusive license agreement with Natural, located
in Norway. Natural develops and commercializes technologies for health-promoting lipids.
WARF, a non-profit Wisconsin corporation that licenses patents for the benefit of research at
UW-Madison, licensed certain rights to Natural for an invention by university researchers
related to reducing body fat in animals using conjugated linoliec acid (CLA) The UW-Madison
inventors named on the patent are professors Mark E. Cook and Michael W. Pariza.
“WARF has provided opportunities for Arkopharma to settle this matter, but Arkopharma has
continued to sell products that infringe WARF’s patent,” said Carl Gulbrandsen, managing
director of WARF. “While we were not anxious to use the courts to enforce our patent rights, Arkopharma’s behavior has required us to bring this action.”
“No one should expect to benefit commercially from the outstanding results obtained by WARF,
and Natural ASA without purchasing the CLA material from one of our licensees,” said Jostein
Dalland, managing director of Natural. “This is the nature of patent law.”
The plaintiffs will ask the court to declare that Arkopharma is infringing, and has induced
others to infringe, on WAFW’s patents. The court will also be asked to enjoin Arkopharma
from selling the product and to pay triple damages for the willful and deliberate infringement. The case is assigned to Judge Barbara Crabb.