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Arent Fox Client Sabinsa Corporation Wins Spoliation Sanctions and Attorney’s Fees Award in Long-Running Dispute with Prakruti Products

On March 30, 2020, the US District Court for the District of New Jersey affirmed an award of spoliation sanctions, forensic audit, and attorney’s fees in favor of Arent Fox client Sabinsa Corporation.

A link to the decision is available here.

Arent Fox LLP achieved the victory on behalf of Sabinsa Corporation, a world leader in the Curcumin dietary supplements industry. The win followed a multi-year discovery dispute stemming from Prakruti’s suspected violation of a patent settlement agreement with Sabinsa. The court reopened the previously settled case, in which Sabinsa alleged that Prakruti infringed Sabinsa’s patented Curcumin C3 Complex®, US Patent No. 5,8651,415, in June 2017. The team representing Sabinsa is led by Partners James H. Hulme and Taniel Anderson, and Associate Jake Christensen, and Attorneys in Arent Fox’s Complex Litigation and Patent Practice Groups.

“We are extremely pleased with the court’s decision,” said Mr. Hulme. “The court’s unequivocal rejection of Prakruti’s appeal is an important vindication for Sabinsa Corporation and the Arent Fox team, whose tenacity in beating back Prakruti’s attempts to mislead the court and Sabinsa at every turn was crucial to achieving this result."

“Spoliation sanctions are notoriously difficult to achieve, and our team thanks the court for recognizing the severity of Prakruti’s malfeasance and putting a stop to it once and for all. We look forward to the court’s determination of Sabinsa’s fee award,” added Mr. Anderson. 

As District Judge Kugler succinctly stated, the “goal of the Re‐opening Order was to collect information—documents, sold product, tested samples, etc.— in order to determine whether Prakruti had breached the settlement agreement with Sabinsa . . . .” What followed was two-plus year discovery attrition war in which Sabinsa was forced to travel a “tortuous pathway” because of Prakruti’s repeated sleights of hand, with Sabinsa fighting at every turn. Sabinsa’s painstaking efforts to document and present Prakruti’s misguided actions are shown in the court’s opinion, which repeatedly references Sabinsa’s voluminous submissions and quotes extensively from Mr. Anderson’s oral argument during a September 2018 sanctions hearing before the court.

“We thank the Arent Fox team for its tireless efforts to protect Sabinsa’s intellectual property over our decades-long relationship, and particularly in this case against Prakruti Products,” said Sabinsa Founder Dr. Muhammed Majeed. “Sabinsa will always stand its ground and enforce its rights to the full extent of the law against any company that tries to infringe on our signature, industry-defining products.”

Sabinsa, the world leader in Curcumin for the dietary supplements industry, was founded in 1988 with the key principles of tradition, innovation, and research at its core. Sabinsa maintains manufacturing and research facilities in India and the United States that continue to introduce pioneering dietary supplements, solidifying Sabinsa’s position at the forefront of the industry.

Arent Fox is a nationally recognized leader in patent litigation. The firm has been involved in hundreds of suits involving patent infringement and related IP issues. The patent litigation group includes a combination of patent lawyers with varied technical backgrounds and seasoned trial lawyers focusing only on patent litigation. In the past two decades, Arent Fox patent litigators have been lead counsel in more than 100 patent cases in numerous jurisdictions.

About Arent Fox
Founded in 1942, Arent Fox is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and the law intersect. With more than 450 lawyers and professionals, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to a global roster of corporations, governments, and trade associations.

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