Mars, Incorporated Strengthening Case Against Natraceutical, S.A.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mars, Incorporated is broadening the scope by adding more patents to show infringement on cocoa polyphenol technology and use in products

McLean, VA, August 30, 2007 – Mars, Incorporated is vigorously pursuing the defense of its world’s leading cocoa flavanol technology and related intellectual property. Mars, Incorporated is strengthening its pursuit by adding more patents to the suit, broadening the scope.

On April 3, 2007, Mars filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Natraceutical, S.A. alleging that Natraceutical’s CocoanOX products infringed Mars patents relating to cocoa polyphenol powders and extracts that may be added to various products to produce certain health benefits. Because detailed information regarding CocoanOX was not publicly available, the lawsuit as filed was limited in scope to a few claims in two patents.

Mars is now confident that Natraceutical is infringing, contributing to and inducing the infringement of several additional Mars’ patents and patent claims. While continuing to vigorously assert the two patents that were asserted in the initial complaint, Mars has decided not to pursue piecemeal litigation approach in the preliminary injunction proceeding. The entire matter will be adjudicated in a single, complete trial in which all relevant patents and claims are involved. Consequently, Mars notified Natraceutical of its intent to amend the complaint and Mars voluntarily withdrew its request for a preliminary injunction. Mars expects that the Court in late September will set a trial date for the case. Mars believes that it will prevail in the case in obtaining both an injunction and damages for patent infringement.