Hangsen Sued Over Synthetic Nicotine

    Photo: Tobacco Reporter archive

    Zanoprima Lifesciences filed a complaint for patent infringement against Hangsen International Group in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Texas. In its complaint, Zanoprima Lifesciences alleges that Hangsen has violated its patent titled “Process for Making (S)-Nicotine” through Hangsen’s manufacture and importation into the U.S. market of products containing synthetic nicotine that are manufactured using Zanoprima Lifesciences’ process, according to a press release.

    “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,” said Ashok Narasimhan, CEO of Zanoprima. “Zanoprima’s legal action reflects our company’s dedication to vigorously protecting our intellectual property in the U.S. and around the world.”

    Zanoprima’s 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. But, 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 claim 1” 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 its infringing actions.