Aqua Bio settlement “a burden” for smallish outfit

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Settling a dispute case that’s lasted since 2016, Aqua Bio Technology has agreed in court on a settlement with Access Business Group International LLC — ABT will pay USD 15,000 to charity and both parties will pay their own legal fees.

ABT developed has commercialized an enzyme technology based on the salmon’s hatching fluid. The trademarked ingredient, Aquabeautine XL, “holds several properties attractive to skin care product manufacturers”. The technology has been licensed for production in the U.S. since 2012.

In March 2016, Access filed a complaint, restraining order and injuction with a federal court in New York while claiming violation of contract obligations to deliver an ingredient for use in cosmetics. The court denied the Access application, and both parties pursued arbitration in London, as they had agreed to do in case a dispute arose.

“ABT entered into the settlement to reduce the ongoing litigation and arbitration costs and to allow ABT’s management to focus fully on the commercialization of the company’s new ingredients and cosmetic products,” as statement said.

The dispute with Access has been a significant burden for ABT, a note to shareholders said, adding that legal costs “have been very high” after accruing for two years.

“Prior to the settlement, ABT has incurred costs of about 20 MNOK (USD 2.6 million) related to the dispute,” the note said, adding that total costs related to the dispute were in its financial reporting.

Aqua Bio Technology, based near Oslo, earned 19.4 million kroner (USD 2.5 million) in net profit in 2016 on 49.4 million kroner (USD 6.5 million) in turnover.

Access Business is linked through its parent entity, Alticor, to the cosmetics and cleaning products businesses of networking company, Amway.