The Intellectual Property Rights to Supplefer Sprinkles are owned by Ped Med Ltd., a private incorporated company owned by Stanley Zlotkin.
1. First rights of refusal for the intellectual property rights to sprinkles were offered to the Hospital for Sick Children (as per our contractual obligation with the hospital). The Hospital turned down the offer (1998) and thus the rights were taken up by us.
2. Intellectual property rights were taken up because we wanted to perform appropriate research on Sprinkles before they were generally distributed and because we wanted to control the content of Sprinkles and manage issues around quality control.
3. It has always been our intent to have Sprinkles distributed to the populations in most need of micronutrient supplements.
4. We have an agreement with the HJ Heinz Company such that they will provide technical support, assist in the manufacture of Sprinkles from various manufacturing facilities around the world and produce the Sprinkles on a ‘cost-recovery’ basis for research purposes. This is an arrangement to support sponsorship of the Sprinkles program by the Heinz Foundation and is considered a humanitarian initiative by the H.J. Heinz Company. If large scale, ongoing production of Sprinkles is required for a humanitarian program, we would work with Heinz and the funding agency to establish the lowest cost source of supply, utilizing a Heinz facility or an alternative producer. The cost structure would, of course, be transparent to the funding agency.
5. If an appropriate commercial opportunity becomes apparent, Heinz will be offered the “right of first refusal” to develop, manufacture and market a fully commercial product with appropriate pricing and margin, to ensure consumer acceptance and commercial viability. Under these circumstances, at our discretion, and subject to agreement with the manufacturer, Ped Med Ltd. may receive a royalty for license of the Sprinkles technology.
6. However, a commercial source of Sprinkles for one segment of a population would not preclude the production of sprinkles ‘at cost’ for another segment, even within the same country (perhaps as a joint venture with an NGO, UN or government agency). As Ray Yip (UNICEF, China) has suggested, engaging local markets to distribute Sprinkles for a profit may be the most appropriate alternative for sustainability. Yip ”Those who stand to make money have vested interest to push the product”.