Pfizer wins suit against NY man over Viagra stunt

NEW YORK Tue Sep 8, 2009 7:01pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday that drugmaker Pfizer's trademark had been infringed when a man towed a decommissioned missile around Manhattan emblazoned with the words "Viva Viagra," the slogan for Pfizer's blockbuster impotence drug.

Pfizer sued Arye Sachs after he parked the 20-foot-long (7-meter-long) decommissioned missile outside its headquarters in September 2008 in a stunt to promote his business selling outdoor advertising spots on retired military equipment.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled in favor of Pfizer for trademark infringement claims. "If defendants intended this to be funny, Pfizer did not get the joke," he said.

Pfizer, which has spent millions advertising and promoting Viagra, argued consumers could think Sachs' missile was an ad for the drug.

Sachs had argued his use of the Viagra name was protected under free speech rights.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Michelle Nichols and Cynthia Osterman)

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