Filter

Open

Let’s Make Functional Foods Fully Functioning!

09

NOV

2020

First you look at it, next you smell it and then you take a bite of it. For centuries, consumers have picked their food based on how good the food looks, smells and tastes. In recent times, in addition to these criteria, consumers have become more and more concerned about their own health when it comes to choosing their food due to the growing awareness on the correlation between health and diet. As we entered the 21st century, health conscious consumerism quickly became the new trendsetter which spread across the whole world.

Consequently, food and beverages companies need to be constantly innovating in order to keep up with the changing consumer trend and demand for variety of functional foods, i.e., foods, which have additional positive effect on consumer’s health. F&B companies face multitudinous challenges in their quest to develop a new functional food and converting it into a marketable product. Simultaneously, the journey to create a desired functional food that meets consumers’ demands, consumes a huge amount of time, resources, energy and money.

However, do the F&B companies employ sufficient protection for their food related research and development? In the absence of a good defensive weave around their R&D, one company’s sweat can become another company’s glory.

Patents are a strong defense for food companies to prevent their claimed functional food from being copied, sold, manufactured, offered for sale or imported without their permission. In addition, patents can be an investment or valuable asset for a food company as it can be sold or licensed to other company.

Mining patent databases for functional food related trends revealed a significant connection between the number of patents related to functional food and awareness in a health-conscious diet. Foods comprising probiotic microorganism (good bacteria) or prebiotic components are classified as functional food as they have beneficial effects on human health such as enhancing gastrointestinal health and mineral bioavailability. Until we entered this millennium, there was no noticeable or consistent rise in the number of patents related to probiotic function foods. As we stepped into the 2000s until now, the number of patent publications related to probiotic function foods has had a rapid increase simultaneously with the increase of awareness in a health-conscious diet.

Table 1: Publication Trend for patents / patent applications related to probiotic foods

Patent analytics proved that the rise in consumer awareness on functional foods has paralleled the increase in number of patent publications related to probiotic foods across the globe. There was no appreciable rise in the number of patents related to probiotic foods being published before the year 2000. However, from 2000 until mid-2018, there is an obvious increase in patent publications related to probiotic foods. The trend has shown some decline after the middle of 2018 due to non-availability of published data related to patent applications filed in 2019 and early 2020. However, we expect to see patent publications rise further due to the COVID-19 pandemic increasing demand for functional foods and a healthy diet. One of the preferred jurisdictions for filing patent applications related to probiotic foods is the US, having 433 patent applications related to probiotic food filed from 2000 until mid-2018, followed by international applications filed under the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) route, and then India. On the other hand, the top current assignee having 81 patent applications related to probiotic food filed from 2000 until mid-2018 is 4D Pharma Research Ltd., followed by Nestec S.A. and Probiotical S.P.A.

Table 2: Top Authorities for patents / patent applications related to probiotic foods

Table 3: Top current assignees for probiotic foods

UK-based 4D pharma is a world leader in the development of Live Biotherapeutics. They are pioneers in understanding and utilising the functionality of bacteria for developing therapeutic solutions. They are also the name behind Phase II Clinical Trial of Oral Immunomodulator Mrx-4Dp0004 for patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in the UK.

Nestec S.A needs no introduction as it is the commercial research and consulting wing of Nestlé S.A. Probiotical is an Italian family-owned company specialized since 1985 in probiotics manufacture. They have been the Italian leader in preparation and production of lactic acid bacteria for dairy industry for more than 60 years.

It is quite interesting to see that the leaders in the probiotics industry are of European origin but the preferred jurisdiction to file patent applications is the US. The US has always been perceived as a friendlier jurisdiction for patent applicants. US patent statistics reveal that the US Patent and Trademark Office received 597,141 patent applications in 2018* of which 52.3% were from foreign applicants.

Patent protection (as opposed to trade secrets) would be the best type of protection for functional food due to the food labelling regulations in most countries that require the packaged food to be supported by nutrient content information. This way, consumers are well-informed of the choices they are making.

Should you be in the food and beverage industry, speak to us at KASS on how you can best protect your invention on foods and beverages. Remember, COVID-19 brings forth opportunities that you may be losing out on. Food for thought. Pun intended.

Source: https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/us_stat.htm

About the Firm

KASS International Sdn. Bhd.
Address Suite 8-13A-2, Menara Mutiara Bangsar, Jalan Liku, Off Jalan Riong, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel 60-3-2284 7872
Fax 60-3-2284 1125
Email hello@kass.asia
Link www.kass.asia

Related Articles

02
AUG
2022
Product Placement in Films: To Place or Not to Place?
02
AUG
2022
Brands and products can be strategically incorporated into films as a subtle form of advertising. Th...

Read More

08
JUL
2022
The Eagle Has Landed, into a Dispute
08
JUL
2022
Guangzhou Light Industry & Ors v Lintas Superstore – Civil Suit No.: BKI-22NCVC-139/12-2016 ...

Read More

01
JUN
2022
Why Logo Design is Crucial to Business Success
01
JUN
2022
A logo is an important aspect of a business’s makeup and plays a critical role in promoting pu...

Read More

05
MAY
2022
Food at Your Doorstep – Just One Click Away!
05
MAY
2022
Remember the days when we ignored our cravings for our favorite meal because of the thought of havin...

Read More

11
FEB
2022
How to Pick a Diamond in the Rough: 3 Qualities of a Successful Franchisee
11
FEB
2022
A franchisee can make or break your business. This has become even more applicable in the aftermath ...

Read More

07
FEB
2022
Franchises after the Pandemic: Boon or Bane?
07
FEB
2022
The COVID-19 vaccines have arrived on our shores. If effectively rolled out and deployed on schedule...

Read More

05
JAN
2022
Are Cover Songs an Act of Infringement?
05
JAN
2022
Cover songs have always been a major part of music culture, with both famous and amateur singers acr...

Read More

05
JAN
2022
Cool Influencers vs Cruel Infringers: Do KOLs Have IP Rights?
05
JAN
2022
I still remember the day I told my mom that my friends and I were going to shoot a short film and up...

Read More

03
DEC
2021
Top 3 Reasons to Register a Patent for Your Invention
03
DEC
2021
Say “Hey Google, turn off the lights” and Google Assistant will switch off the lights in...

Read More

11
NOV
2021
Gloves, Musang King Durians and IP Rights
11
NOV
2021
“TOP GLOVE’S R&D arm ranks second highest among Malaysian patent applicants in 2020&rdqu...

Read More

15
SEP
2021
COVID-19 Pandemic: IP Issues & Challenges
15
SEP
2021
While the COVID-19 pandemic enrages the world, there are frantic efforts to produce effective and sa...

Read More

09
AUG
2021
Are You Taking Advantage of RCEP Provisions?
09
AUG
2021
Businesses have started to multiply their corporate assets in the ASEAN countries by taking advantag...

Read More

08
JUL
2021
Netflix: A Binging Addiction Surrounding Intellectual Property
08
JUL
2021
To stream, binge and watch. These days, audiences in search of entertainment have one place in mind ...

Read More

25
MAY
2021
Strange But Unique Inventions
25
MAY
2021
Who would have thought that in 2021, wearing a mask would actually be a part of everyday life? A new...

Read More

26
APR
2021
Voila! A Chic Hijab!
26
APR
2021
CHIC?? VOILA?? What do these two words have to do with a hijab? Well, in this case – plenty! I...

Read More

07
APR
2021
World-Changing Women Wonders
07
APR
2021
The field of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is often male-dominated and studies sh...

Read More

02
MAR
2021
ABCs of Trademarks
02
MAR
2021
Have you ever wondered whether plain alphabets can function as trademarks for goods or for services?...

Read More

02
FEB
2021
Poking Fun at a Trademark, and Making $$$ from that – Is it Infringement?
02
FEB
2021
If you’re going to make a joke about someone’s brand, you had best make sure they have a...

Read More

22
JAN
2021
What is Copyright Notice, and Why Bother with It?
22
JAN
2021
A copyright notice may seem like little more than superfluous text tacked on to the end of a website...

Read More

15
OCT
2020
Non-Traditional Trademarks
15
OCT
2020
It is a great time to stand out and be different. Thanks to our new Trademarks Act 2019, individuals...

Read More

31
AUG
2020
Imaginations Vs Innovation Vs Patents
31
AUG
2020
“What? A card for paying money?” This is how people might have reacted when they were f...

Read More

02
AUG
2020
Copyright and Commissioning: Everything You Need to Know
02
AUG
2020
Commissioning has been described as the “lifeblood of the artistic world”, implying that...

Read More

03
JUL
2020
COVID-19 The Pandemic Affecting The IP World (And Basically Everything Else)
03
JUL
2020
Where hope was once the prevalent state of mind when a new year rolled around, this year that notion...

Read More

09
JUN
2020
Don’t Go Brexit My Heart!
09
JUN
2020
Britain finally decides on a finale, ending a half century bond and “divorcing” Europe o...

Read More

09
JUN
2020
COVID-19 Vaccines & Treatments: Who Owns the Rights?
09
JUN
2020
Moderna Inc., Sanofi, AstraZeneca plc, Roche, Gilead Sciences and Novartis are just some of the many...

Read More

  • 1
  • 2