Melaleuca, The Wellness Company, has been granted a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office that protects the company’s Oligo technology. The company forecasts this will create many new jobs in Idaho.
The discovery of Oligo, a new technology in processing vitamins and minerals, was introduced by Melaleuca in August 2008 at its national convention in Minneapolis, Minn. Since then, Oligo has become the company’s fastest selling and most popular product in Melaleuca’s line of more than 350 wellness-related products. The demand for products containing the Oligo technology is a key reason for Melaleuca’s strong growth over the past three years.
The Oligo technology mimics the way plants process minerals. Oligo pre-binds minerals to amino acid proteins and Oligo fructose fibers. The process makes minerals more absorbable and protects them from generating excess free radicals during the digestion process.
Typical mineral supplements produce high levels of free radicals that destroy the antioxidant vitamins contained in the very same vitamin and mineral supplement. Oligo is the only known process that protects minerals such as iron and copper from creating an eruption of free radicals as these minerals enter the small intestine.
“Oligo is a major breakthrough in nutrition science that gives Melaleuca a huge competitive advantage in the field of nutrition,” said Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot.
Issued as patent 8273393, it includes 36 claims protecting the compositions, methods for manufacturing and effects of taking Oligo. The patent extends the protection for all 36 claims until 2030. An additional patent application continuation has been filed for several more claims and elements of protection that will extend the protection well past 2030.
“The popularity of Oligo is fueling our record growth this year,” said VanderSloot. “Developed by Melaleuca scientists right here in Idaho Falls, Oligo has already created dozens of jobs for Idahoans who help us keep up with the worldwide demand. Having this patent to protect our technology adds tremendous credibility.”
“The patent protects our technology from our competitors and allows us to build infrastructure to manufacture, house and distribute this product from here in Idaho. It means hundreds of new jobs will be coming to Idaho,” VanderSloot said.
The patent filing, which began in 2008, has been a thorough process. Throughout the three years that the patent application has been under examination, the uniqueness of the formula and claims associated with the product were open to the public for review and challenge. All claims were also carefully reviewed by scientists and experts from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Melaleuca has filed for patent protection in several countries around the world, and it expects those patents to be forthcoming.
All of the 36 claims were evaluated by the scientific world and by Melaleuca’s competitors. The fact that not a single objection was filed by any entity is a testament to the soundness of Melaleuca’s science.
Melaleuca is a $1 billion global manufacturer of consumer products headquartered in Idaho Falls, Idaho. With more than 3,300 employees, Melaleuca markets and sells more than 350 health and wellness products to customers around the world. Customers shop direct with Melaleuca online or by calling Melaleuca’s Idaho-based customer service centers.