Pfizer, Inc. Must Pay $143 Million to Trovan, Ltd. in Largest Trademark Judgment Ever Awarded in the United States
Pfizer, Inc. must cease using "Trovan" name to market its antibiotic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 1999
Los Angeles, CA --
A 7-panel jury awarded $143 million to Trovan, Ltd. today after 7 hours of deliberation in its trademark infringement suit against Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE:PFE), making it the largest judgment of its kind awarded in the United States. The trial started August 18 and the liability phase ended September 22 in a unanimous verdict for Trovan, Ltd., with the jury finding Pfizer, Inc. liable for willful, bad faith trademark infringement and unfair competition. US District Court Judge Lourdes G. Baird presided over the case. Trovan, Ltd. vs. Pfizer, Inc. [CV 98-0094 LGB (Mcx)]. Judge Baird will rule on Plaintiffsí claim that they are entitled to the profits Pfizer, Inc. earned from sales of the "Trovan" antibiotic as early as Friday.
"We are pleased with the outcome," said Joseph Masin, President of Electronic Identification Devices, "because it proves that we Davids of this world can prevail over the ëGoliathsí of this world. By finding for us, the jury sent Pfizer a clear message that they would not tolerate or excuse bad faith conduct on any level."
"Regardless of size," explained Masin, "a companyís reputation is everything. We worked hard to build Trovan® into a respectable name long before Pfizer began infringing on our trademark: and protecting that reputation was the impetus behind this lawsuit, it was never about money. With this victory, we can continue to grow our company knowing, once and for all, that Trovan® is indisputably ours."
Since 1989, Plaintiff has used the Trovan® trademark to globally market its system of biomedical electronic identification devices, and holds federal trademark registration No. 1649328 issued in 1991 by the US Patent & Trademark Office. In 1997, Trovan, Ltd. learned that Pfizer, Inc. was going to introduce and market a new antibiotic under the Trovan name, which it did in 1998, even though Plaintiff had already filed this lawsuit. In 1999, the "Trovan" antibiotic was linked to multiple possible deaths and is currently under investigation by the US Food & Drug Administration, the European Union and Ralph Naderís Public Citizen.
Trovan, Ltd. is a British corporation based in Douglas, Isle of Man, and owns the Trovan® trademark. 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. Trovan, Ltd. also controls a portfolio of valuable patents for technology products such as RFIDs (radio frequency identification) systems, which it has most recently defended against Swiss RFID manufacturer Sokymat. In that litigation, Trovan won a judgment against Sokymat.
Press Contact: Kathy Pinckert, 310-836-8355