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Xyrex Wins Interim Interdict For Prawn Products

UK - Xyrex Ltd, the manufacturer of the Prawnfresh and Prawnfresh Plus products for the treatment for harvested prawns, has successfully won an Interim Interdict at the Court of Session in Edinburgh against Rytium Technology FZC preventing Rytium Technology from either manufacturing, distributing or selling its Natur AD Shrimp Treat product.

Prawnfresh and Prawnfresh Plus are widely used by commercial prawn fishermen and processors in the UK and other parts of the world as an effective and safe treatment that prevents the onset of the condition known as melanotic blackening or ‘blackspot’ in prawns and shrimps, which can reduce their market value.

In the action brought by Xyrex Ltd against Rytium Technology, Xyrex Ltd claim that Rytium’s Natur AD Shrimp Treat product is a copy of Prawnfresh and that Rytium are not entitled to copy this product.

Rytium contend that their Managing Director and owner, Ruary McGregor, (a former employee and shareholder in Xyrex) invented Prawnfresh and is entitled to manufacture and sell Shrimp Treat.

At the hearing an affidavit by Mr McGregor was produced in terms of which he claimed he had invented the key element in the Prawnfresh product in his kitchen using nothing more than ordinary kitchen equipment. Xyrex disputed this. In his judgement the judge commented that this explanation “did not sit easily” with the findings of a Professor Duncan Burns of the School of Chemistry at Queen’s University Belfast who had produced a report on behalf of Xyrex, which advised that chemical knowledge would be required to produce this product, along with scale up and formulation skills, at least to the equivelant of a good honours graduate degree level.

In granting the Interim Interdict the judge advised that on the basis of the information presented at the hearing he was persuaded that Rytium’s contention “that Mr McGregor invented the process concerned was unlikely to be established”.

He also advised that he was satisfied that Xyrex had “set out a good prima facie case to demonstrate that the defenders’ product is a copy of the one developed and marketed by them”.

Commenting on the decision, John Davis, managing director of Xyrex said: “Our decision to take this matter to court is not one we took lightly. Given the actions of Rytium and Mr McGregor, however, we had no alternative other than to take steps to protect our products and the integrity of the Prawnfresh brand and its high standing and reputation in the marketplace.

“We are delighted with the decision reached by the Court at this time and Xyrex looks forward to continue to serve the requirements of our valued customers with a high quality and proven product.”

The full ruling can be viewed at http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2010CSOH143.html.

Rytium Technology has 14 days from 29 October to appeal the decision.

the Fish Site Editor

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