Richard Mandl, a mild-mannered Austrian candy maker, offers 26 different kinds of sugar-coated pumpkin seeds as well as the world famous Styrian pumpkin seed oil. His newest tutti-frutti flavored invention, however, has invoked pharmaceutical giant Pfizer's wrath: It's rhomboid and blue. These phyiscal attributes along with the unusual name "Styriagra", claim Pfizer's lawyers, are an infringement of various international trademarks and copyrights held by their client.
[In Austria], a certain Mr. Mandl is producing pumpkin seeds which are coated with chocolate and are called Styriagra. The chocolate pumpkin seeds have been dyed a light blue color and are even oval in shape. Mr. Mandel claims that there’s no connection between the word Viagra and his Styriagra pumpkin seeds and he says that the name derives from the word ‘Styria’ which is an Austrian province and also the word ‘agra’ meaning that it is agricultural.Says Mandl, in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, "I had wanted to dedicate the candy to a nearby thermal spa, as a complimentary gift for their guests. The blue color is based on the spa's logo colors. Unfortunately, the former boss didn't like my idea". He also added that pumpkin seed is good for your circulation and is said to improve your fertility and libido.
Two weeks after Mandl registered his trademark with the European Patent Office, he received mail from Pfizer's lawyers. His response was everything but conciliatory, now he's stuck with a law suit and the demand that he cease all production, not just that of Styriagra.
Pfizer have decided to take legal action against Mr. Mandel saying that he is infringing on their trademark and have launched action to sue him for 36,000 euros. Mr. Mandel who also produces large amounts of pumpkin oil said that he will not take this challenge lying down and is happy to go to court in order to justify his product which he has already registered as a trademark in the European Union.Mandl will not flag in this case "earth against the whole universe" as he calls it, erect and steadfast he faces a lengthy ordeal. May the strength of the seed be with him.
P.S. This is German news because the EPO is in Munich