Settlement in Styriagra/Viagra trade mark disupte

Some of our readers may recall the curious trade mark dispute between Mr Mandl, an Austrian pumpkin seed oil producer, and pharmaceutical company Pfizer over Mr Mandl's use of the mark "Styriagra" on blue coloured pumpkin seed pills which were offered as natural erectile dysfunction remedy (see the IPKat's report here).

Even though Mr Mandl had always maintained that the STYRIAGRA product name derived from the word "Styria", which is the Latin name of the Austrian province Steiermark, where his business is located, and the words "agra" and "Agrar", meant to be denoting the agricultural origin of his product, Pfizer was not amused and took the matter to court. The matter had already gone all the way to the Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) which in provisional proceedings had decided in Pfizer's favour (case reference case reference 17 Ob15/09v, retrievable by clicking here (in German)). This case was of particular interest not only because it applied the ECJ's guidance in L'Oreal v Bellure but also because it most notably introduced the German concept of "trade mark parodies" to Austrian trade mark law.

While we were eagerly awaiting further proceedings at the first instance court in Vienna, Austrian news sites Die Krone and Kleine Zeitung now report that both parties have reached an out of court settlement in this matter. No details of the settlement have been given.
While this Kat would have been very interested to see the first instance court's decision and reasoning in this particular case, the settlement will be welcome news for poor Mr Mandl. Not only did we learn that his marriage broke down over this dispute, according to the Austrian report, he also had to file for bankruptcy earlier this year. Mr Mandl hopes to be able to make a fresh start in life, now that the case has been settled. Let's just hope that he will stay away from trade mark parodies for a little while.
Settlement in Styriagra/Viagra trade mark disupte Settlement in Styriagra/Viagra trade mark disupte Reviewed by Birgit Clark on Monday, April 26, 2010 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. you sure his marriage didn't break down over his pills? maybe he should have bought the real thing.


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