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2X winner Fast Company World Changing Idea!

Fatty15 Patent Positioning: Our Moral & Legal Responsibilities

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
    • Our founders have dedicated over 10 years, in cooperation with U.S. Navy, to conduct extensive peer-reviewed science resulting in the discovery of C15:0 as an essential nutrient and the world's first C15:0 supplement, fatty15.
    • As part of this this extraordinary effort, fatty15 has exclusive and global licensing rights from the U.S. Navy for general commercialization and use of C15:0 as a supplement.
    • Competitors are starting to inappropriately commercialize the use of C15:0 in their own supplements, without patent usage rights, using inappropriate dosing and conflicting oils, and having no peer-reviewed science on their products. 
    • Here, we address key questions about fatty15’s exclusive patent rights from the U.S. Navy, which includes exclusive use of C15:0 in supplements. 

Years ago, while helping to continually improve the health and welfare of aging Navy dolphins, our fatty15 founders discovered C15:0 (aka pentadecanoic acid) as the first essential fatty acid to be identified since omega-3, which was over 90 years ago. For more on our founding story, check out our idea-worth-sharing TEDx talk

At fatty15, our team of scientists and physicians have spent a decade to discover how C15:0 supports our long-term health and wellness. Based on our extensive peer-reviewed science using pure, free fatty acid C15:0, we have invested years (and years) to develop fatty15 - a pure free fatty acid and patented C15:0 supplement that is science-backed, bioavailable, safe, stable, and free from unstable oils. 

Today, mounting evidence supports that population-wide nutritional C15:0 deficiencies may be contributing to the rise in poor metabolic, heart, and liver health globally.

Our mission. Our team is on a mission to help restore global health by providing the absolute highest quality, vegan-friendly, stable, sustainable, bioavailable, and science-backed C15:0 ingredient on earth.  We are also working with leaders in medicine, nutrition, and longevity to help revisit nutritional guidelines around healthy fats.

Competing products. With increased awareness of fatty15 as an effective and pure C15:0 supplement, competitors have started to inappropriately commercialize the use of C15:0 in their non-science-backed supplements. Here, we address key questions about fatty15’s patent rights from the U.S. Navy.

Beyond this information on our patent rights, we have a separate blog (available here) addressing numerous scientific and quality concerns about competitors, including a list of 7 questions that should be asked of any product marketing C15:0 in their supplements. 

What patent rights does fatty15 have around C15:0? 

Thanks to our founders’ work with the U.S. Navy, there is now voluminous peer-reviewed science and over 30 U.S. and international awarded and pending patents supporting the use of C15:0 to improve health. Today, Seraphina Therapeutics (fatty15’s parent company) has rights from the U.S. Navy and the United States of America for general commercialization and use of C15:0 as a supplement, food or beverage ingredient, and pharmaceutical (U.S. Patent No. 11,116,740). 

Why are our founders’ C15:0 discoveries patented?

When discoveries are made, inventors are given the right to apply for patents under the U.S. Patent & Trade Office (USPTO) and the international Patent Cooperation Treaty. This process helps to protect the substantial risk, investment, and time involved to successfully commercialize a new discovery. If a discovery is deemed truly novel and applicable, the USPTO awards patents, which protects inventors for 20 years against competitors who can otherwise simply steal the discovery for the competitor companies’ own profit.  

We have invested the past decade to 1) deliver an abundance of peer-reviewed science on our pure C15:0 ingredient, 2) help educate the world about our C15:0 discoveries, and 3) commercialize fatty15. As part of our patent licensing agreement, royalties from every fatty15 sale go back to the U.S. Navy, including in support of the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program.

Taking our global responsibility seriously.

The fatty15 team takes our moral and legal responsibilities to bring C15:0 to the world seriously. This is why fatty15 has extensive peer-reviewed science on its pure, free fatty acid C15:0 powder that backs its claims. This is also why our science continues, including independently run, randomized, double-blinded and placebo controlled clinical trials, and actively engaging the academic scientific research communities to lead their own studies with fatty15’s pure C15:0 ingredient (the only ingredient in fatty15). 

Fatty15 provides an extensively-tested pure and bioavailable C15:0 powder at daily doses demonstrated as effective. As a stable, pure, and free fatty acid C15:0 powder, fatty15 has been shown to strengthen cellular membranes, lower inflammation, and repair mitochondrial function, based on dose. Extensive bioavailability studies have shown that 100 mg to 200 mg of orally administered pure, free fatty acid C15:0 is needed to maintain targeted active C15:0 circulating concentrations of 10 to 30 uM.

A warning about competitors.

In addition to infringing on the U.S. Navy's patents, competitors marketing C15:0 in their supplements have products that directly conflict with the science behind how pure C15:0 works to improve long-term health. As such, without having their own peer-reviewed science using their formulations, there is no expectation that these products will deliver the claimed C15:0 benefits.

Here’s why:

  • Competitors are providing a non-science backed C15:0 oil-based ingredient with unknown bioavailability, mixed with conflicting ingredients, at daily doses and in a formulation that is not expected to be effective in delivering on C15:0 claims. In contrast, current competitors use a triacyglyceride algae-based C15:0 oil that is combined with many other ingredients, including proinflammatory fatty acids and unstable oils that directly compete against C15:0’s beneficial effects. Further, daily dosing of their less-bioavailable C15:0 is 50 mg per day, which is not expected to achieve targeted active C15:0 circulating levels. To our knowledge, there are no peer-reviewed studies demonstrating that these conflicting formulations deliver claimed C15:0 benefits.
  • Competitors are sourcing their algae oil-based C15:0 ingredient, and their supplements, from the People’s Republic of China. Competitors on the market are using a triacyglyceride algae-based C15:0 oil ingredient marked as “NutraAssure”. This ingredient and these supplements are manufactured by CAS Biosciences, which stands for the Chinese Academy of Sciences, owned by the Chinese government (People’s Republic of China). CAS Biosciences has been notified of Seraphina Therapeutics’ exclusive license with the U.S. Navy to market and sell C15:0 supplements. This means that C15:0 supplement competitors in the U.S. are not only stealing a patented discovery from the U.S. Government, but they are paying the Government of China to manufacture their products.

More information is available here regarding numerous scientific and quality concerns about competitors, including a list of 7 questions that should be asked of any product marketing C15:0 in their supplements. 


In summary, fatty15’s patent-protected positioning helps not only to ensure that the inventors are protected against competitors stealing and profiting from USPTO-verified discoveries, but also helps the fatty15 team to protect consumers from products that lack the science to back their formulations and claims.

Our promise to you is to provide the highest quality, science-backed C15:0 ingredient in fatty15. Your health is our top priority, and we will fight to protect everything for which C15:0 stands.

Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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