Pfizer's Intellectual Property Rights Battles in China for Viagra

Case Details Case Introduction 1 Case Introduction 2 Case Excerpts


This case is about Pfizer Inc.'s numerous intellectual property rights (IPR) litigations in China related to its blockbuster drug for erectile dysfunction, Viagra. Despite launching Viagra in the Chinese market as early as 2000, Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, could not make much headway with its brand 'Wan Ai Ke' in this market. This was despite the fact that China was the most populous country in the world and that there was a huge market for aphrodisiacs and traditional medicines that enhanced one's sexual performance.

Wan Ai Ke' had failed to realize its potential largely due to two factors- competition from cheaper generic drugs and fakes, and patent litigations from a group of Chinese generic drugs companies.In 2004, the patent for Viagra was revoked in China which led to an international outcry against the decision. In 2006, the patent was again restored but the matter was still sub judice.....

Business Environment Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Business Environment, Case Studies
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The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the issues and challenges faced by companies in emerging market, especially in markets which are making a transition to a stronger IPR regime in line with TRIPS
  • Understand the business environment in China from the point of view of a foreign research based pharmaceutical company
Pfizer Wins Viagra IPR Litigation - China in Transition?
Background Note
SIPO Invalidates Viagra's Patent
SIPO Ruling Leads to International Outcry
Analysts See a Silver Lining
China's Huge Market can't be Ignored
Pfizer's Viagra Patent Restored
China Cracks Down on Counterfeiters
Pfizer Loses Viagra Trademark Row


Pfizer Inc., Viagra, Wan Ai Ke, Wei Ge, Intellectual property rights, Business environment, China, Patent, Trade Related Intellectual-Property Rights (TRIPS), Chinese competitors, Competitive strategy, Trademark, World Trade Organization, Levitra, Cialis, Chinese pharmaceutical market, Chinese-language equivalent trademarks, Patent enforcement system, International marketing, Counterfeit, Erectile dysfunction, Sexual Performance Enhancing Drugs

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