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How Did Bayer Lose Its Aspirin Trademark?

The signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 was cause for celebration around the world, as it effectively marked the end of World War I. But it was something of a headache for the German pharmaceutical firm Bayer. The inventor of aspirin -- originally the brand name for acetylsalicylic acid when it was first sold in 1899 -- Bayer had to give up its trademark in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France as part of Germany's war reparations. Bayer was also forced to sell a quarter of its aspirin supply to the victorious nations at a discounted price. Luckily for Bayer, its product retained its trademark rights everywhere else in the world, so profits remained strong, if not quite what they would have been. Today, people around the world turn to aspirin tablets approximately 100 billion times a year.

All about aspirin:

  • Taking a low dose of aspirin every day is believed to reduce heart attack risk by preventing the clumping of blood platelets.

  • Aspirin almost never came to be. When its inventor, Bayer chemist Felix Hoffman, introduced it to his bosses, they initially considered it worthless and possibly harmful.

  • Although aspirin has been around since 1899, it wasn't until the 1970s that its healing mechanism -- reduction of the fatty acids that cause swelling and pain -- was understood.

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More Info: BBC

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