Alkermes Claims Alkeus Name Too Similar To Its Own

by T+B Blog Team on June 11, 2014

Irish pharmaceutical company Alkermes plc is seeking to bring Boston-based biotech start-up Alkeus Pharmaceuticals Inc. to court, accusing it of trademark infringement, the Boston Business Journal reports.

The Irish drug development company lodged the lawsuit in a Massachusetts federal court in late May, alleging that the name of the four-year-old company sounds too similar to its own, and expressing concerns that it could be easily confused by consumers. The fact that both companies operate in clinical drug development in the greater Boston area further increases the risk of confusion, according to Alkermes.

The suit states that the name of the Boston start-up may prompt people in the pharmaceutical industry to wrongly believe that Alkeus is a U.S. division or subsidiary of Alkermes, since it is a combination of the first four letters of the Irish company and the suffix “us.”

Dublin-headquartered Alkermes manufactures medicines that address central nervous system disorders and one of its research facilities is located in Waltham, Massachusetts. Alkeus, set up in Delaware in March 2010 and registered in Massachusetts in December 2011, specializes in the treatment of eye disorders, such as dry age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt disease.

Bloomberg reported that Alkermes had previously sent a cease-and-desist letter to Alkeus.

Which side do you think will prevail in this trademark lawsuit?


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