TROVAN, LTD. ALLEGES FRAUD AGAINST PFIZER, INC. IN PROPOSED AMENDED COMPLAINT FILED IN DISPUTE OVER TROVAN® TRADEMARK
Case has potential to be the largest trademark judgment ever, with projected damages alone in excess of $100 million
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 1999
Los Angeles, CA--
Trovan, Ltd. And Electronic Identification Devices, Ltd. allege fraudulent misappropriation and use of their TROVAN® trademark by Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE) in a proposed amended complaint filed late Monday in Trovan, Ltd. v. Pfizer, Inc. They also seek to globally enjoin Pfizer from unlicensed use of the TROVAN® name in marketing a new antibiotic introduced in 1998. This antibiotic has the most indications (14) approved of by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a product of this type, and has already become the ninth most prescribed branded antibiotic in the United States. The case has the potential to be the largest trademark judgment ever, with projected damages alone in excess of $100 million.
"Typically, it costs hundreds of millions of dollars to introduce such a product into the marketplace", said Joseph Masin, president of Electronic Identification Devices, Ltd. "Yet, knowing that for almost seven years we had held the federal trademark registration for 'TROVAN', Pfizer went ahead and launched a major campaign to promote its new antibiotic, using our name. Then, with utter disregard for our name or international reputation. Pfizer fraudulently obtained and identical mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office."
"We filed suit", explained Masin, "and since then have been in a 'David vs. Goliath' battle with Pfizer, recently defeating their Motion for Summary Judgment [under seal]. With this proposed amended complaint, we want to move forward and prevent Pfizer from further capitalizing on the TROVAN® mark worldwide or from garnering any other financial windfall through the illusion that there is any connection between our two companies, including confusion over the Internet."
Since 1989, Trovan, Ltd. Has used the TROVAN® name to market its system of electronic identification devices, and since 1991 has held federal registration No. 1649328 for the TROVAN® mark issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. TROVAN® products are used worldwide by governments, universities, and research facilities for human and veterinary applications, ranging from tracking blood supplies to animal control. Since 1996, the company's internet domain address has been: www.trovan.com.
In 1997, Trovan, Ltd. learned that Pfizer, Inc. intended to introduce a new antibiotic under the identical Trovan name in 1998. After Pfizer ignored Trovan's objections, Plaintiffs filed suit for trademark infringement and unfair competition on December 8, 1997 in Santa Barbara Superior Court [Case No. 222191]. The case was removed to the United States District Court, Central District of California, Western Division, on January 7, 1998 before the Honorable Lourdes G. Baird [Case No. 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