We represented nutritional supplement manufacturing company, Natural Alternatives International, Inc. (Nasdaq: NAII), in a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals case in which our client had brought claims against rival Creative Compounds LLC, accusing Creative Compounds of infringing six of its patents covering various forms of beta-alanine and its use as a muscle-building supplement. The Southern District of California had dismissed the suit, finding the patent claims to be directed toward a product of nature (beta-alanine) and a law of nature (that taking beta-alanine in sufficient quantities builds muscle) and thus patent-ineligible. On appeal, a split panel sided with our client, finding the district court applied too broadly the ineligibility doctrine of the “Alice/Mayo test” and that, although beta-alanine itself can occur as a natural substance, the claims containing beta-alanine as one aspect covered more than an unpatentable natural law.
Law360 provided analysis of the case in the article “Fed. Circ. Clarifies Alice In Reviving Supplement Co.’s IP Suit,” published on March 15, 2019.