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It’s new! It’s spam! It’s revitaPOP: The MB12 Lollipop

Posted Jun 23 2009 5:09pm

I just got a nice spam email from Stan Kurtz, inventor. See, he invented this lollipop with methyl B12 in it to cure…well…almost everything.

Actually, I am a bit confused on that point. I often am from claims in alternative medicine. You see, from his website, Mr. Kurtz states

MB12 is a very unique vitamin and deficiency can affect vision, intestinal function, the ability to protect against infections and toxins, nerve functioning, and DNA replication.

Dang, it protects against DNA replication Does that sound, well, problematic to anyone else?

On his website, Stan Kurtz himself tells us that:

What I can tell you is that MB12 truly changed my life. I suffered for years with irritable bowel symptoms, chronic viral infecitons and ADHD and after I took this product I felt better. Since then I’ve personally observed hundreds of people’s lives change through the supplementation of MB12.

You see, it doesn’t “treat” anything, but it changes your life if you have certain disorders. Also, mB12 is “involved in” a whole host of disorders. No direct claims that mB12 supplementation “treats” the disorders. Just a great big implication.

But, then there is the disclaimer. Always a disclaimer. Gotta have a disclaimer.

These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

No use spending a lot of time on the contradictory nature of claims made by people touting supplements. Mr. Kurtz didn’t invent this sort of doublespeak, and he won’t be the last to use it.

Still, I thought this “revitapop” thing was odd, so I checked a few things out. Like, Stan Kurtz’s otehr website which touts the benefits of MB12, but also states:

Stan has chosen not to sell or profit from the use of this vitamin.

I guess it depends on your definition of the word “sell” or “profit”? $35 for 30 lollipops sounds like there could be room in there for profit.

What also caught my eye was this: “* patent pending”. It caught my eye because I thought, “How can someone patent this?”

I can’t find the patent application for the lollipop version of MB12, but I did find the patent application for his MB12 nasal spray. Patent application US29012039A1.

Claim one of the patent describes the vast number of disorders that are “treated” with this nasal spray:

A method of treating a psychological or neurophysiological disorder, comprising nasally administering methylcobalamin, or a pharmaceutically acceptable salt thereof, to a person in need of such treatment in an amount sufficient to treat the disorder in the person, wherein the disorder is selected from the group consisting of:attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, stress and chronic stress, socialization problems, mood problems, behavior problems, memory problems, dislexia, depth perception problems, color viewing problems, visual and auditory processing problems, light modulation problems, night vision problems, speech problems such as finding words, apraxia, and articulation problems, sleep regulation problems, eye or muscle movement problems, chronic fatigue problems, digestion problems, sensitivity to chemicals, viral infection, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, and fibromyalgia, asthma, irritable bowel, colitis, tinnitus, migraines, nail biting, and autoimmune problems.

Typical of alternative medical treatments—they treat everything. Always a warning sign, if you ask me. It is interesting to me that autism is not specifically mentioned in the patent. There must be a reason for that.

Is this really new, or novel, as they say in the patent business? It seems that that there is already a patent on nasal sprays to administer Vitamin B12, Vitamin B12 nasal spray and method of use. Filed in 2006, and it mentions mB12.

There is a phrase in patent law: obviousness. Taking one invention, say, mB12 nasal spray, adding it to another supposed invention, treating certain disorders claimed to respond to mB12 is, well, obvious. As they say, anyone “skilled in the art” would put those together.

Even if this doesn’t meet the definition of non obvious, I still think this patent has little chance of success. Consider this paragraph from the US Patent office:

In order for an invention to be patentable it must be new as defined in the patent law, which provides that an invention cannot be patented if: “(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent,” or “ (b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to the application for patent in the United States . . .
(emphasis mine)

Mr. Kurtz’ patent application was field March 17, 2008.

mB12 nasal sprays—as touted by Mr. Kurtz himself—have been discussed online since at least 2005. I guess Mr. Kurtz is counting on the patent examiner not checking the AutismOne website for Mr. Kurtz’ own talk on nasal spray mB12 in 2006. But, even without that, Mr. Kurtz’ own website has discussions of the nasal spray from March 16, 2006—that predates his patent application by 1 year. 1 year and 1 day. Ironic, that.

It will be interesting to see the lollipop patent application. I mean, there are vitamin B12 lollipops already, too. I wonder when Mr. Kurtz first publicly discussed his lollipop invention? Did he shoot himself in the foot here too?

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