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Back in February, BPI Sports, LLC, a leading sports nutrition company, filed a lawsuit against ThermoLife International, LLC, claiming the company and its president and CEO, Ronald Kramer, participated in, “fraudulent representations to the United States Patent and Trademark Office,” in regards to creatine nitrate, an ingredient patented by ThermoLife.
In an amended legal complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on April 19, BPI claims that ThermoLife and Kramer have, “engaged in repeated and widespread efforts to gain an unfair market position regarding the sale of creatine products by disseminating false claims of exclusivity and superiority about creatine nitrate.” This has negatively affected BPI’s business, according to the complaint, and the company is seeking compensation for what they say is a loss of market share and decreased sales as a result.
BPI holds the position that ThermoLife’s patent on creatine nitrate was secured under false pretenses, including its claims that the ingredient is more effective than known and naturally occurring creatines. Specifically, BPI mentions that ThermoLife claims creatine nitrate is more effective than other creatines because the nitrate increases “vasodilation by way of augmenting nitric oxide production.” These statements, according to BPI, are unproven in ThermoLife’s patents and promotional material for the ingredient.
By making these claims about creatine nitrate’s effectiveness over other creatines—such as creatine monohydrate, which BPI and other supplement companies use—BPI contends that ThermoLife is attempting to gain an unfair position in the marketplace and hold a patent on a product that can’t be enforced.
BPI goes further in this latest legal amendment, saying, “Under the direction of Kramer, ThermoLife operates as a patent troll which threatens and/or sues companies in the dietary supplement industry for alleged violations of its redundant, invalid and unenforceable patents.” These patents would be unenforceable, in BPI’s opinion, because “amino acids, nitrates and methods of administering them to humans are natural phenomenon and not patentable under 35 U.S.C. § 101.”
No trial date has been set. You can read the full legal complaint here.