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Butt out: Gumlink accuses Revolymer of degradable gum copying

By Oliver Nieburg+

13-Feb-2013
Last updated on 14-Feb-2013 at 12:04 GMT

Gumlink and Fertin Pharma have initiated legal proceedings against British-based firm Revolymer for allegedly infringing Gumlink’s patent on a degradable gum base by selling nicotine gum in Canada. Revolymer plans to defend its position.

Gumlink and Fertin Pharma, divisions of the Danish Bagger-Sorensen Group, have accused Revolymer of infringing their patent for degradable gum and have commenced court proceedings in Canada.

Revolymer to defend

Revolymer, which uses a co-polymer gum base called Rev7 for private label nicotine gum in Canada and for a branded confectionery gum in the UK and Ireland, intends to defend itself.

“Following professional advice, management considers at this stage that there are strong grounds for rebutting this action. Revolymer accordingly intends to defend vigorously the Company’s position,” said the company in a statement.

Revolymer chief financial officer Robin Cridland told ConfectioneryNews.com: “We are test marketing our nicotine gum products in the relatively small Canadian market.”

Confectionery operations

Gumlink was contacted, but the company declined to comment.

Gumlink' patent infers that any gum, including confectionery gum made via the same method would be an infringement.

The current case relates only to Canada and to nicotine gum, but Revolymer also produces branded gum Rev7 for the UK and Ireland which uses the same co-polymer as its nicotine gum.

Nicotine gum market

Gumlink and Revolymer both operate in private label nicotine gum in Canada.

Nicorette is the leading nicotine gum brand in Canada and is owned by GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson. Swiss firm Novartis also manufacturers the Nicotinell brand for the Canadian market, while the rest of the market consists of private label.

Gumlink was issued a patent in Canada for its degradable gum in December 2010, while Revolymer has patents pending for its nicotine gum in Canada, but it does not reference its degradable properties, and rather emphasizes how the bitter taste of active ingredients are masked.

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