7 Important Vaccines And Their Trademarks

Lisa Wright,

It is not often all countries of the world are united in wanting the same thing, but all highly anticipate a vaccine for COVID-19. And finally, in mid-July 2020, we had some good news.   Results from a team at the University of Oxford show that its vaccine – co-developed with the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca – is safe in humans and provokes an immune response. 

And, in North America, the federal government announced it had reached a $1.95 billion deal with German company BioNTech and Pfizer to acquire 100 million doses of its vaccine candidate against COVID-19 if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves it. The announcement was made just after the two pharmaceutical companies announced an agreement with the United Kingdom to supply 30 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with the proviso that it makes it to market.

According to GlobeNewswire, the global vaccines market today is dominated by four large pharmaceutical companies: Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and Pfizer who produce most of the vaccines sold worldwide. Other prominent international players include Novavax, Emergent Biosolutions, CSL, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Bavarian Nordic, and Mitsubishi Tanabe.

Childhood vaccines

Thanks to the ongoing development of vaccines by pharmaceutical companies, many of us do not have to suffer the agony of losing children to childhood diseases such as measles, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, pneumonia due to Haemophilius influenzae type B and Streptococcus pneumonia and diarrhoea due to Rotavirus. 

Babies routinely receive several vaccines before the age of four months in many parts of the world and by the time they start school most would have received the following vaccines to prevent childhood diseases: Diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis) (DTaP); Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib); Polio (IPV); Pneumococcal (PCV); Hepatitis B (HepB); and Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). 

However, there are many other vaccines that we also receive, some of which are not so widely known. We took a data dive and looked into the trademark activity of seven of these important vaccines and associated brands. Using our preliminary search tool, ExaMatch we analyzed the trademark registration data of seven vaccine brand names in 180 registries and discovered:

  • First registration dates 
  • Volume of valid trademarks today
  • Nice Classes
  • Leading products
  • Top registries  

1. Varivax (chickenpox) 

Although chickenpox is mostly harmless, it can be dangerous to those who have a compromised immune system and for pregnant women and their unborn baby. Chickenpox triggers the skin to erupt in itchy blisters and can cause a fever, loss of appetite and a general feeling of unwellness.

The vaccine Varivax can immunise against chickenpox and it is manufactured by Merck. At the time of writing, there are over 50 Varivax valid trademarks owned by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation, all registered in Class 5 (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies). The oldest valid trademark was registered in June 1985.  

Leading three products: 

  • Pharmaceuticals (41.2%)
  • Vaccines (37.3%)
  • Pharmaceuticals for veterinary use (29.4%)

Top three registries: 

  • Paraguay's DINAPI 
  • Norway's P.S. 
  • Benelux's BOIP 

2. Rotarix (rotavirus) 

You might not have heard of Rotavirus before but chances are you have probably had it! According to the World Health Organization (WHO) nearly every child in the world will have had Rotavirus by the age of 3. It is a highly contagious stomach bug which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in babies and young children. The virus kills approximately 215,000 children under the age of 5 each year. Rotarix is the brand name of the vaccine produced by GlaxoSmithKline and it is used around the world to combat Rotavirus.

Currently, there are 80 valid trademarks with the mark text Rotarix owned by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A and the oldest obtained registration in the United Kingdom's GB IPO in June 1999. 66.3% of these marks are registered in Class 5 (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies), 17.4% in Class 16 (Paper Goods and Printed Materials) and 16.3% in Class 44 (Medical, Cosmetic and Agricultural Services).

Leading three products:  

  • Vaccines (64.9%)
  • Human Healthcare Services (15.6%) 
  • Provision of Information Relating to Vaccination for Overseas Travel (3.9%)

Top three registries: 

  • Peru INDECOPI 
  • Colombia SIC 
  • Argentina INPI 

3. Havrix (hepatitis A) 

Spread via faeces, the Hepatitis A virus is mild in children. Thanks to a vaccine being released in 1995, the illness is rare in countries with modern sanitation and hygiene standards. However, those travelling to less developed countries can catch the virus if they are unvaccinated.

Havrix (produced by GlaxoSmithKline) is a well-known brand of vaccine for Hepatitis A. There are currently over 50 valid trademarks with the mark text Havrix, owned by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A and the oldest obtained registration in the United Kingdom's GB IPO in September 1989. Most marks ( 98.1%) are registered in Class 5 (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies) with the remaining 1.9% found in Class 35 (Advertising and Business).  

Leading three products:  

  • Pharmaceuticals for veterinary use (55.8)
  • Pharmaceuticals (44.2)
  • Vaccines (34.6) 

Top three registries: 

  • Paraguay DINAPI 
  • Dominican Republic ONAPI 
  • Ireland IPO 

4. Trumenba (meningococcal meningitis)

Meningococcal meningitis is a bacterial form of meningitis, a severe infection of the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Left untreated, it has a 50% mortality rate. In childhood, it affects mostly toddlers and teenagers. Even if the patient survives, they can require limb amputations and may suffer brain damage.

Thankfully many vaccines now provide protection, including Pfizer’s Trumenba. At the time of writing, there are 60 valid trademarks filed with the mark text Trumenba. Analysis reveals that they have all been registered in Class 5 (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies) and the leading owner is Wyeth LLC for Pfizer Inc. The oldest mark obtained registration in the Swiss CH IPO in August 2010.

Leading three products:  

  • Sanitary preparations for medical purposes (60%)
  • Pharmaceuticals (47.3%)
  • Pharmaceuticals for veterinary use (38.2)

Top three registries:  

  • Taiwan TIPO 
  • Japan JPO 
  • Russia Rospatent  

5. Gardasil 9 (human papillomavirus - HPV) 

HPV is a group of sexually transmitted viruses. Many people carry the virus and have no symptoms. However, some develop genital warts, and certain cancers such as cervical, anal, penis, vulva/vagina, head and neck cancer can develop if HPV results in abnormal changes in the cells.

Several vaccines, including Gardasil 9, manufactured by Merck, protect against HPV.  The oldest valid mark text Gardasil was first registered in Australia's AU IPO in December 2003 by Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corporation. All 80+ valid marks are registered in Class 5 (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies) at the time of writing.

Leading three products: 

  • Pharmaceuticals (53.6%)
  • Disinfectants and antiseptics (36.9%)
  • Herbicides (35.7%)

Top three registries:  

  • Paraguay DINAPI 
  • Algeria INAPI 
  • Haiti MCI 

6. Boostrix (Tdap booster) 

Not all vaccines last for life. Therefore, every adult ought to get the Tdap vaccine once (if they did not receive it as an adolescent) to protect against pertussis (whooping cough). Furthermore, a Td (tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot should be given every ten years. Also, it is advised that women should get the Tdap vaccine each time they are pregnant, preferably at 27 through 36 weeks to protect their unborn baby against whooping cough.

Boostrix, produced by GlaxoSmithKline, is one of the leading vaccines for Tdap boosters. There are over 40 valid trademarks with the mark text Boostrix, with the vast majority (95.7%) registered in Class 5 (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies), currently owned by GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals S.A. The oldest was registered in the United Kingdom's GB IPO in November 1996. 

Leading three products:  

  • Vaccines (70.5%)
  • Pharmaceuticals (45.5%)
  • Pharmaceuticals for veterinary use (40.9%)

Top three registries: 

  • European Union EUIPO 
  • Paraguay DINAPI 
  • United Kingdom IPO 

7. TicoVac (tick-borne encephalitis) 

If you have a dog, chances are they have had at least one tick. However, these nasty mites can also bite humans, although the risk of serious illness is low. However, if you plan to go camping or hiking, you may want to get a TicoVac vaccine.

Manufactured by Pfizer, at the time of writing, there are six valid trademarks for TicoVac all registered in Class 5 (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies) and owned by Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals. The top product is Pharmaceuticals (83.3%).

The oldest was registered in the United Kingdom's GB IPO in September 1979. There is one mark registered in each of the following six registries: Denmark PVS; European Union EUIPO; United Kingdom IPO; WIPO (Madrid); Latvia LRPV and Norway P.S. 

NEW ebook “Vaccine Trademarks And Their Owners”

The pharmaceutical industry has always been one of the most challenging sectors when it comes to obtaining and protecting trademark rights. 

In our new ebook report we focus our attention on one specific part of Pharma IP - vaccine trademarks and their owners. We analyze and examine Nice Class 5, all trademarks related to vaccines, COVID-19 related trademarks and the top vaccine trademark filers of all time across 180 registries. 

You’ll get answers to the following five big questions: 

  • Who are the biggest trademark filers? 
  • Where they are filing (top registries)? 
  • What are they filing? 
  • What are the top classes for vaccines? 
  • Who is filing COVID trademarks? 

Discover who’s who in the world of vaccine trademarks today!

Download your copy of Vaccines & Trademarks eBook