Norway: Second STIM appeal against BioMar smolt feed fails

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/marchmeena29
© GettyImages/marchmeena29

Related tags: patent, smolt feed, intellectual property

A second appeal by fish health group, STIM, to ban the sale of smoltification feed produced by BioMar, Intro Tuning, has been rejected by a Norwegian court.

In December​ last year, the Oslo County Court found that BioMar’s product did not infringe STIM’s patent, which was granted in the summer of 2020. STIM, the name given to the company that emerged from the June 2019 alignment between Europharma, Fishguard and ACD Pharma, appealed that decision to the Borgarting Court of Appeal who reconsidered the case. However, its findings were in line with the Oslo court ruling.

BioMar Norway said the production and sale of BioMar’s Intro Tuning, therefore, continues uninterrupted.

“Even though the outcome of the appeal was as expected, we are very happy that the Court of Appeal has now confirmed that the County Court decision was correct. This means that fish farmers can still choose feed from BioMar's product portfolio that promotes growth and health during smoltification and transfer to seawater,” ​said Håvard Jørgensen, MD, BioMar Norway.

Earlier developments in the case

We reported on earlier patent related developments​ between STIM and BioMar in March 2020.

BioMar Norway claimed then that a general known method to improve smoltification in aquaculture cannot be protected by a patent.

“As an important contributor to innovation in the industry and a company with a strong record of developing patented technology, we fully respect intellectual property rights. We, however, believe that in this case, we have not infringed any valid patent as the fundamental knowledge existed both internally in BioMar, and within the industry prior to the filing of the STIM patent in question. We have continued to develop an approach to aid the smoltification process and, [through] our innovations, contributed with new feeds and technology to improve both cost efficiency and biological impact,” ​said Jørgensen.

STIM said its SuperSmolt FeedOnly allows the fish to smoltify under constant light and without the threat of de-smoltification. The program is said to enable fish to develop ideal seawater tolerance and obtain better growth and survival rates. The idea behind SuperSmolt was developed by American scientists. STIM bought the rights to the original SuperSmolt patent in 2008. The company further developed the technology and launched SuperSmolt FeedOnly in 2014.

Related topics: Aquaculture, Europe, Certification, Regulation

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