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November 19, 2009


6,100,287 claims a nutritional supplement for "enhancing muscle performance" and recovering from fatigue. Iovate sued BSN over '287. The district court found the asserted claims anticipated by advertisements in Flex magazine. It took no muscle flex for the CAFC to confirm.

Iovate Health Sciences v. BioEngineered Supplements & Nutrition (BSN) (CAFC 2009-1018) precedential

On August 27, 2008, the district court granted BSN's motion, holding claims 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 18 invalid under § 102(b) as anticipated by advertisements for TwinLab® Mass Fuel and Weider's VICTORYTM Professional Protein published in Flex magazine before the November 13, 1996, critical date. Each ad includes a list of ingredients, directions for administering the dietary supplement orally to humans, and marketing claims and testimonials from bodybuilders extolling the virtues of the product.

Protein supplements are not healthy. The worst continuing fiction of nutritional publication in this country is an emphasis on consuming too much protein. The body naturally builds its own proteins from amino acids in food and recycling of aged cells (autophagy). Metabolizing excessive protein is energy inefficient and results in considerable waste products, not to mention turning into fat. A healthy diet comprises vegetables and fruits, with modest amounts of grains and beans. Vegetables, grains, and beans are all high in usable protein.


To be anticipatory, the ad must also describe, either expressly or inherently, each and every claim limitation and enable one of skill in the art to practice an embodiment of the claimed invention without undue experimentation. In re Gleave, 560 F.3d 1331, 1334 (Fed. Cir. 2009).

To avoid anticipation, Iovate relies on conclusory expert testimony and attempts to increase the specificity of the language used in the claims' preamble. But even assuming that the preamble limits the claims, there is no evidence that those skilled in the art of nutritional supplements used the term "enhancing muscle performance"--and thus "increasing the ability of muscle to maintain required or expected force or power output"--to exclude increasing muscle strength. Such an argument borders on the frivolous. In fact, both the patent specification and Iovate's infringement allegations refer to muscle strength as a proxy for this term.

Iovate also seeks to avoid anticipation by reading an effectiveness requirement into the preamble, which, it argues, the ads fail to disclose. But the '287 patent claims do not restrict the administration of the claimed amino acid and ketoacid composition to any specific dosage or amount, or even an "effective amount." The claims also do not require any further measurement or determination of any result achieved by administering the claimed composition. Thus, the ad's disclosure of a certain composition taken for a certain purpose suffices for the purpose of anticipation. Bristol-Myers, 246 F.3d at 1378; see also Gleave, 560 F.3d at 1336 ("[W]here the claims themselves do not require a particular activity, we have no call to require something more from the anticipating reference.").

[R]egardless of any questions about false advertising, the ad teaches that taking a supplement containing the claimed ingredients as advertised is effective for increasing muscle performance and recovery after exercise.


Iovate argues that the district court erroneously focused on whether a person of ordinary skill in the art could have made the advertised supplements rather than the claimed invention. Furthermore, Iovate contends, the record lacks any evidence that the ad taught a skilled artisan how to make a composition effective for enhancing muscle performance or recovery from fatigue because the ads lack any guidance on appropriate ingredient dosages.

We agree with BSN that all one of ordinary skill in the art would need to do to practice an embodiment of the invention is to mix together the known ingredients listed in the ad and administer the composition as taught by the ad.


Posted by Patent Hawk at November 19, 2009 10:30 PM | Prior Art


But I think for lean muscle mass we need protein supplements.

Posted by: Protein supplements at December 2, 2009 4:13 PM

Protein supplements:

For your own health, you should not be allowed to feed yourself.

Posted by: Patent Hawk at December 3, 2009 8:19 PM