The Advocate, June 01, 2005
Kadair Advertising sues Bayer over Levitra 'robot' pen idea
Kadair Advertising executives say they thought two years ago they found the perfect promotion for Levitra, a drug that treats impotence. It's a "robot" pen that slowly unfurled when activated.
In a lawsuit, Kadair claims Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corp.'s state and regional managers forwarded the idea to the drug company's corporate headquarters. The lawsuit says Bayer ordered 800,000 of the Levitra pens ... from one of Kadair's competitors.
Kadair is suing Bayer, alleging breach of contract and unfair trade practices. It is seeking damages of more than $150,000. The lawsuit was originally filed in 19th Judicial District Court, but has been transferred to federal court here. Kadair attorney Marc Whitfield said the move to federal court will not change his client's lawsuit. Bayer representatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
According to the lawsuit, Kadair representative Julie Mumme provided a prototype of the pen to Mitch Tucker, Bayer's Louisiana manager, in November 2003.
In December, Tucker is alleged in the lawsuit to have told Mumme that he had approved the pen proposal and passed the idea along to Bayer regional manager Greg Radenbaugh. Radenbaugh then is alleged to have forwarded the idea to Mary Maranaccio at Bayer corporate headquarters in New Jersey.
The lawsuit claims Tucker told Mumme to call Maranaccio at corporate in a week to follow up. Mumme claims to have made repeated calls, but was not able to reach Maranaccio.
None of the agreements were put in writing because Kadair and Bayer had an informal business arrangement, the lawsuit says. Kadair would propose an idea, providing a design, sample or prototype. If Bayer liked the pitch, the company would verbally OK the plan and place an order, the lawsuit says.
Thinking it had a deal with Bayer, Kadair Advertising says in the lawsuit that it didn't take the pen idea to rival manufacturers Cialis or Viagra. By the time Kadair allegedly learned Bayer had gone to a competitor, it was too late for Kadair to offer its prototype to the other drugmakers.
Bypassing those potential clients cost Kadair money and profits, the lawsuit says. "As a result of Bayer's conduct, Bayer has been unjustly enriched and Kadair has been impoverished," the lawsuit claims. (By TED GRIGGS, firstname.lastname@example.org, Advocate business writer)