A patent infringement lawsuit has been filed by Zanoprima Lifesciences against Hangsen International Group for infringement on Zanoprima’s patent to produce synthetic nicotine.
Filed in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas, Zanoprima claims Hangsen violated its patent entitled “Process for Making (S)-Nicotine” (U.S. Patent No. 10,913,962) and Hangsen has been importing products that include a a synthetic nicotine into the U.S. that is produced by using Zanoprima’s patent.
“Over many years, Zanoprima has invested substantial time, resources, intellectual capital, and scientific expertise into developing Zanoprima’s groundbreaking enzymatic patented process for synthesizing an (S)-nicotine that is devoid of tobacco-specific nitrosamines and other impurities,” stated Ashok Narasimhan, CEO of Zanoprima, in a press release. “Zanoprima’s legal action reflects our company’s dedication to vigorously protecting our intellectual property in the U.S. and around the world.”
The complaint alleges that, after publication of Zanoprima’s patent, Hangsen filed a Chinese patent application describing a process that copied the process invented by Zanoprima. However, as alleged in the complaint, Hangsen’s patent application was rejected by the Chinese Patent Office in June 2021 citing Zanoprima’s patent as prior art.
The complaint also alleges Hangsen imports into the U.S. from China and sells products containing “alleged high-purity synthetic (S)-nicotine and nicotine products that are marketed and sold under various names including as MOTiVO Synthetic S-Nicotine,” and that such imported products “are manufactured by a process that practices every step … of the Zanoprima patent.”
In addition to seeking damages for infringement, Zanoprima’s complaint seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to prevent Hangsen from continuing infringing upon Zanoprima’s patent.
Zanoprima is the first company to manufacture and make commercially available an enzymatically synthesized form of pure (S)-nicotine, SynNic, according to the release. The synthetic nicotine is chemically identical to that derived from tobacco but devoid of harmful tobacco-specific nitrosamines, carcinogens, alkaloids, and other impurities that accompany tobacco-derived nicotine.