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The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online watchdog group, has sued the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis Group on behalf of a weekly medical publication fighting to include the name of one of Sanofi’s drugs in the name of its Web site. EFF announced Wednesday that it had filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of Medical Week News Inc. in response to demands made by Sanofi, the world’s third largest drug company, that the publisher discontinue using the word Acomplia in the domain name AcompliaReport.com. Acomplia, an Sanofi-Aventis drug intended to combat obesity, is undergoing testing in the United States as the company seeks approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Based in Indian River County, Fla., Medical Week News launched AcompliaReport.com to help readers track the drug’s progress. The publication, founded by a group of medical and information professionals, maintains it has the right to use company names when it reports independent news. “Reporters, critics, and commentators all need to use trademarks in order to discuss and report on trademarked products and services,” EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann said. “Trademark law has always recognized that as a fair use when books and magazines do it. Publishers should enjoy the same fair use rights on the World Wide Web.” Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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