Vega Scorza, the liquor produced by researchers from the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) exclusively based on organic lemons from Vega Baja, has obtained the protection of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office. The UMH researchers Pilar Legua and Ángel Carbonell have developed this product that has achieved the ‘Utility Model’, which certifies the world novelty of the product that uses the fruit and the lemon tree leaf in its preparation. Last summer this product was already presented in society.
This project is developed by the professor of the Department of Plant Production and Microbiology and researcher project leader, Pilar Legua, as well as by the professor of the Department of Agrifood Technology Ángel Carbonell, in collaboration with the company Vega Scorza.
The liquor is made without any type of additive and retains all its properties after bottling. The certificate of ‘Utility Model‘grants a status that protects products with lower inventive rank than those subject to patents. It is a degree of brand and product protection that, after exceeding rigorous requirements, is officially granted by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, consisting of giving an object a configuration or structure from which some utility or practical advantage derives.
The device, instrument or tool that can be protected by the ‘Utility Model’ is characterized by its “usefulness” and “practicality” and not by its “aesthetics”, as occurs in industrial design. The duration of protection of the ‘Utility Model’ is ten years from the filing of the application and to maintain the right it is necessary to pay annual fees. To obtain this qualification, it has had to see that the UMH researchers have managed to develop a new version of this spirit drink with a novel feature: maintaining the essential oils, both from the rind of the fruit and from its leaf, which is also used in the production process.
The idea of producing and putting on the market Vega Scorza It became a reality in the middle of last year as a response to the concern of the executive director of the firm, Javier Vidal, to give added value to the production of lemon in the Vega Baja. Murcia and Alicante concentrate more than 85% of the lemon production in Spain, most of which is exported fresh, but there was a great gap in as for liqueurs produced with this fruit in origin. After the initial planning, it was possible to make a liquor with fruit from this Alicante region, grown organically and without any additives, something totally new and that makes the final product unique and unrepeatable. In just nine months with the product on the market, the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office grants Vega Scorza the protection of ‘Utility Model’ as a “new lemon liqueur with lemon tree leaf essence”.
The application has passed the formal and technical examination and, after its publication, was not opposed by third parties within the two-month period granted for that purpose, for which reason it has been granted and published in the Official Industrial Property Gazette (BOPI ) dated March 3, 2021. The Report on the State of the Art (IET) of the original patent application proves the world novelty of lemon liqueur once it has been limited in its claims to a product made with lemons and lemon tree leaves from the Vega Baja del Segura, in its “Fino” or “Verna” varieties. This utility model will be in effect until February 2030.
In the pprocess of elaboration of Vega Scorza both the fruit and the leaf of the lemon tree are used. The product was created after verifying an obvious reality: the proximity of the raw material to the winery where the liquor is made, since it allows freshly harvested lemons to be used, which affects the characteristics of the final product. In addition, members of the ADIS association, in the south of the province of Alicante, participate in the elaboration process as part of their integration and social responsibility project.
The UMH research team is led by Pilar Legua, in collaboration with Ángel Carbonell, as well as members of both University Departments who, after months of work, managed to find the ideal formula for the production of two modalities: a 40º lemon liqueur and another 20º liqueur, each with its corresponding peculiarities and advisable to drink before or after meals.
The joint work between UMH and Vega Scorza continues with several lines of research open to be able to take advantage of the parts of the lemon not used in the preparation of the drink and its application in other areas such as, for example, cosmetics.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.