Viaguara Energy Drink Trademark Denied For Being Too Similar to Viagra

By Joseph Mandour on February 1, 2012

blue_pills-thumb-200x133-35119Orange County – A European Union high court has ruled that a polish energy drink company cannot register for the Viaguara trademark because it is too similar to that of Viagra, an erectile dysfunction pill manufactured by Pfizer.

The decision from the European Union’s General Court was that the similarity would allow Viaguara “to take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or repute of the trademark Viagra.” An energy and alcoholic beverage company from Poland initially applied for the Viaguara trademark in 2005, but was rejected. After appealing to the high court, the trademark was rejected once again.

In addition to its ruling regarding the “unfair advantage” implications, the high court also based its ruling on the potential for medical implications if consumers were to be confused between the two trademarks. Pfizer’s Viagra has been trademarked and distributed throughout Europe for years and is well-known to consumers worldwide.

“Even if the non-alcoholic drinks concerned do not actually have the same benefits as a drug to treat erectile dysfunction, the consumer will be inclined to buy them thinking that he will find similar qualities, such as an increase in libido,” the court said in its ruling.

Headquartered in Warsaw, Viaguara manufacturers both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic energy drinks using the company’s name. The alcoholic beverages are made with a plant, native to Brazil, called guarana. The fruit of the guarana plant reportedly contains twice the amount of caffeine as do coffee beans, which the Polish company claims to have stimulating and fortifying effects on the mind, body, and health. Over the past several years, many health experts have posted warnings about the overuse of guarana because of its high levels of caffeine.

The high court’s ruling was welcomed news for Pfizer, which insisted that any similarity between the Viagra trademark and Viaguara energy drinks would be an attempt by the Polish company to benefit from a more established product’s “power of attraction, its reputation and prestige, and to exploit, without paying any financial compensation, the marketing effort expended by Pfizer.”

According to European Union rules, Viaguara has two months to appeal the decision to the Court of Justice on points of law only, which are the applications or interpretations of legal principles or statutes. Regardless of whether the Polish company appeals the high court’s decision, it is not likely that it will ever be granted a trademark for Viaguara.

Since its introduction in 1998, Viagra has been prescribed to more than thirty-seven million men all over the world. Viagra’s main competitors in the market for impotence drugs are Cialis, manufactured by Lilly Pharmaceuticals, and Levitra, made by Bayer Corporation in Germany and distributed by Glaxo Smith Kline.

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