Twelve Chinese pharmaceutical firms, who produce cheap imitations of Viagra have launched an appeal against a court ruling protecting US drug giant Pfizer's patent rights in the world's most populous nation which has some 80 million impotent men.
In a last-ditch effort to protect their investment in Viagra-style drugs, the firms yesterday handed their appeal to the Beijing High People's Court.
They are calling for a reversal of the June 2 court ruling which upheld Pfizer's patent for its anti-impotence drug.
But the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), which was ordered on June 2 to withdraw its decision to invalidate the patent right of Sildenafil Viagra's active ingredient did not appeal with the 12 companies yesterday, thereby missing the appeal deadline.
A date has not yet been set for the case, court sources were quoted by 'China Daily'.
On June 2, the Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court ruled in favour of Pzifer, after reviewing the case for more than one and a half years.
Yesterday, while expressing his disappointment in not having SIPO's support in the appeal, Wang Wei, a lawyer representing the 12 pharmaceutical companies, said: "We must try our best to protect our interests, no matter whether SIPO will appeal with us." The 12 drug companies, from Jilin, Shanghai, Anhui, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Chongqing, Sichuan and Tianjin, claim to have invested over 100 million yuan (12 million US dollars) in less expensive imitations of the famous blue pill.