Sami-Sabinsa Group Limited, the world leader in Curcumin for the dietary supplements industry, has been awarded more than $1 Million in attorney’s fees and costs against Prakruti Products. The award, issued by a federal judge in New Jersey on May 24, came in the wake of Sabinsa’s successful prosecution of Prakruti’s egregious discovery misconduct. The Magistrate Judge had previously imposed non-monetary sanctions on Prakruti, and that ruling was affirmed by the District Judge on appeal. The award is Sabinsa’s latest win in a years-long discovery battle with Prakruti that began in June 2017, after the Court reopened a settled case involving Prakruti’s infringement of Sami-Sabinsa’s patented Curcumin C3 Complex®.
Despite multiple attempts by Prakruti to fight the sanctions, Judge Kugler ultimately denied all appeals, upholding the sanctions based on Prakruti’s "repeated lack of diligence in discovery coupled with the repeated inaccurate assurances . . . [and] the obvious foot-dragging or obstruction."
Now, the Court has awarded Sabinsa $1,004,659.93—more than 92% of the requested attorney’s fees and costs. The Court again rejected Prakruti’s hollow objections as "duplicative," "generalized," and "lodged with a brush so broad as to remove any element of specificity to its challenges," such that they "cannot support a reduction in fees." The Court also rejected Prakruti’s "scattershot approach" and "the bases for [Prakruti’s objections,] which are in many cases unsubstantiated or indecipherable—as if hoping that something will stick."
"This decision is the latest in a long line of cases in which we have prevailed against infringers of our patents," said Sami-Sabinsa Founder Dr. Muhammed Majeed. "We are grateful for this further vindication of Sami-Sabinsa’s tireless, long-standing efforts to protect its intellectual property. We hope that this victory serves as further reminder to our competitors that Sami-Sabinsa will enforce its rights to the fullest extent of the law."
"The Sami-Sabinsa Group has spent a great deal of time and money conducting science-based research to develop its intellectual property portfolio and lines of signature dietary supplement ingredients," said James H. Hulme, a Partner at Arent Fox LLP and Sami-Sabinsa’s outside counsel for IP matters. "Sami-Sabinsa has rightfully earned its reputation as a leading ingredients supplier worldwide as a result, which unfortunately has led others to copy Sami-Sabinsa’s exemplary products," Mr. Hulme added. "The Court’s substantial award is a testament both to Sami-Sabinsa’s persistence in protecting its rights and the Arent Fox litigation team who diligently and doggedly pursued Prakruti in this dispute. We are thankful that the Court recognized this in deciding Sabinsa’s fee award."
Curcumin C3 Complex® is a registered trademark and an original patented ingredient of the Sami-Sabinsa Group. The name C3 Complex® was chosen to represent the product’s three main chemical compounds, collectively known as Curcuminoids: Curcumin, Demethoxycurcumin & Bisdemethoxycurcumin. Curcumin C3 Complex® is a specific mixture of Curcuminoids, making it a unique, premium form of Curcumin compared to the plethora of generic Curcumin extracts on the market. Sami-Sabinsa’s Curcumin C3 Complex® has been used in more clinical studies than any other Curcumin brand in the world.