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Pharmaceutical

Pfizer losing Chinese court battle over Viagra name rights

February 06, 2007
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The Associated Press reports that U.S. drug maker Pfizer Inc. recently lost a minor legal battle with Chinese rivals over rights to names for its popular anti-impotence drug Viagra, a court employee said Monday. Pfizer and local drug makers are struggling over the Chinese patent and names for its "little blue pill.” In the latest case, a Beijing court rejected Pfizer''s request to block a Chinese drug company from using the name "Wei Ge" for one of its products, said the employee of the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People''s Court. She refused to give her name to the Associated Press. Pfizer said "Wei Ge," or "Mighty Brother," was a name used by many Chinese to describe Viagra, making it improper for another company to use the name. But the Beijing court''s ruling, issued in late December, said the Chinese company had properly registered the name, said the court employee. In a separate ruling in December, the same Beijing court upheld Pfizer''s Chinese patent for Viagra and ordered two Chinese rivals to stop making generic versions under the name "Wei Ge." At least a dozen Chinese drug companies want the right to make sildenafil citrate, the main active ingredient in Viagra.

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