Trovan, Ltd. Trademark Trial against Pfizer Inc. Starts Wednesday, August 18 in Los Angeles Federal Court
Case Has Potential To Be Largest Trademark Judgment With Damages Projected in Excess of $100 Million
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 1999
Los Angeles, CA--
The Trovan, Ltd. v. Pfizer, Inc. Trial starts Wednesday, August 18 at 8:00 a.m., with voir dire beginning at 8:30 a.m., and will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Lourdes G. Baird at the Roybal Federal Building, Room 770, 255 East Temple Street in Los Angeles. Plaintiffs Trovan, Ltd. and Electronic Identification Devices, Ltd. allege that Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE) wrongfully misappropriated their Trovan® trademark name and used it in the labeling of a new antibiotic introduced in 1998. A trial of 4-5 weeks is expected, and the case has the potential to be the largest trademark judgment ever, with damages projected in excess of $100 million.
Trovan, Ltd. has used the TROVAN® trademark since 1989 to globally market its system of biomedical electronic identification devices; holds federal trademark registration No. 164328 issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1991; and since 1996 has owned the Internet domain name “www.trovan.com.” TROVAN® products are used worldwide by governments, universities and research facilities for human and veterinary applications, ranging from tracking blood supplies to animal control.
“We were shocked to learn that Pfizer had allegedly applied for an identical mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to introduce its new antibiotic,” said Joseph Masin, President of Electronic Identification Devices, Ltd. “Even though we protested and had already filed suit, they launched the product with utter disregard for our established rights in the TROVAN® brand. This suit is our only recourse to prevent any further “Goliath” tactics, and we are confident that we will prevail.
“It’s likely, explained Masin, “that Pfizer invested hundreds of millions of dollars in its campaign to market “Trovan,” enabling it to become one of the most prescribed antibiotics in the United States, but at the terrible expense of our hard earned name. Damage to our reputation continues to grow, especially with recent negative publicity linking this drug to multiple possible deaths, along with talk of potential restrictions by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and product bans by the European Union.”
In 1997, Trovan, Ltd. learned that Pfizer, Inc. Intended to introduce a new antibiotic under the identical Trovan name in 1998. Pfizer ignored their objections, and Plaintiffs filed suit for trademark infringement and unfair competition on December 8, 1997 in Santa Barbara Superior Court [Case No. 222191]. The matter was removed to the United States District Court, Central District of California, Western Division, on January 7, 1998 [Case No. CV 98-0094 LGB (Mcx)].
Trovan, Ltd. Is a British corporation and owns the trademark TROVAN® at issue; Electronic Identification Devices, Ltd. Is a California corporation based in Santa Barbara and is the exclusive North American distributor and a licensee of TROVAN® products. Plaintiffs are represented by William E. Levin with the Laguna Beach, CA law firm of Levin & Hawes.
Press Contact: Kathy Pinckert