Valea Successfully Defends Key Patent for Nettforsk AS
On 14 December 2015, Benjamin Hoffmann and Annika Unge Reis of Valea successfully defended the oppositions against EP2178378B of Nettforsk AS during Oral Proceedings at the EPO in Munich. Oppositions had been filed by FVG Ltd and Sjømat Norge (formerly Fiskeri- og havbruksnæringens landsforening, FHL), both of whom were also represented at the hearing.
The opposed patent relates to methods of controlling fish lice infestations in farmed fish such as salmon. The inventor, Baard Johannessen, has been instrumental in developing new treatment protocols that improve the kill rates of sea lice, and reduce the overall amounts of treatment agents that are used. Given the importance of the salmon industry to Norway (where Nettforsk is based), the case has attracted significant interest with reports of the outcome being published within hours of the decision to uphold the patent being taken. The first reports were published in the trade journals iLaks and IntraFish, with reports following in the national press shortly after. (Link to article in Dagens Næringsliv AS)
Part of the interest stems from the litigation taking place on the corresponding Norwegian case, which is presently in the appeal stage before the Borgarting Lagmannsrett. Valea has now joined the team handling this litigation, in addition to its present role handling Nettforsk’s worldwide patent portfolio.