The Intellectual Property Appellate Board has upheld its 2009 decision to grant US-based Kibow Biotech a patent for a probiotic dietary supplement that will augment kidney function, according to a statement by the company.

The mid-November ruling was passed by an IPAB panel consisting of Vice-Chairman S. Usha and Technical Member (Patents) D.P.S. Parmar. In a different case on the same day, they invalidated a process patent for the same Kibow Biotech drug.

Both the rulings followed petitions against Kibow Biotech by Ahmedabad-based drug manufacturer LaRenon Health Care. The IPAB panel, while upholding the product patent, ruled that it was an “inventive composition comprising at least one probiotic bacteria in a certain composition that confers synergistic impact.”

The patent titled “Compositions for Augmenting kidney Function” guards the brand Renadyl, which enjoys exclusivity in the US, Australia, Canada, China, Japan and Korea, and is pending judgment in the European Union.

A press statement from Kibow Biotech says the product patent is more valuable than the process patent because it prevents third parties such as LaRenon from making a copy, regardless of the process used to arrive at the product.

N. Ranganathan, Senior Vice-President (R&D), Kibow Biotech, said in an e-mail response that a product patent is crucial for any product. “A process patent is just the way of making a product.”

Earlier, Kibow had filed a case in the Madras High Court against LaRenon alleging infringement but the case was dismissed due to procedural irregularities. Thereafter, the Indian company approached IPAB with two revocation petitions.