Source Pravda.Ru

Pfizer appeals Chinese ruling in battle over Viagra name

Viagra maker Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday it has appealed a Chinese court ruling that lets a rival use one of the Chinese-language names for its popular anti-impotence drug.

The Beijing court said the brand name, "Wei Ge," was properly registered by Guangzhou Wellman Pharmaceutical Co.

Pfizer sells Viagra in China as "Wan Ai Ke," but argued that it also is known as "Wei Ge," or "Mighty Brother," and other companies should be barred from using that name.

"The ruling fails to support Chinese efforts to create an environment of innovation that provides consistent protection of intellectual property rights for companies bringing new medicines to China," Pfizer, based in New York, said in a written statement.

The company said it filed its appeal of the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court ruling on Jan. 30.

Pfizer has fought a series of battles in China over the patent and name rights to its "little blue pill," a potentially lucrative product in a society with a long interest in drugs to improve sexual performance, reports AP.

In a separate ruling in December, a Beijing court upheld Pfizer's Chinese patent for Viagra and ordered two Chinese rivals to stop making generic versions, also sold 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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