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Two US Nonprofits Challenge Patent on Nutrition Paste

Posted Jan 13, 2010 8:10 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Two U.S. nonprofits are challenging a patent on Plumpy'nut paste, a high-protein food developed for those who are severely malnourished.

The nonprofits, Breedlove Foods Inc. and the Mama Cares Foundation, contend the patent is so broad that it appears to apply to several products already on the market, the Associated Press reports. Breedlove makes humanitarian food products and is developing its own nut-based product. Mama Cares wants to make a paste using cashews left over from a snack food business.

The patent is held by a French company, Nutriset, and a French government research institute. A Nutriset spokesman told AP the company licenses its patent, allowing it to maintain quality and repay the cost of research. The product has been used by UNICEF and other aid groups.

The nonprofits are represented pro bono by Fulbright & Jaworski.

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