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Spectrum Health asks court to dismiss federal trademark case COURTESY PHOTO

Spectrum Health asks court to dismiss federal trademark case

BY Sunday, August 12, 2018 07:21pm

Spectrum Health is asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a Denver-area company that alleged the West Michigan-based MedNow telemedicine service infringes on its trademark.

Citing the lack of any businesses interests in Colorado, the Grand Rapids-based health system argues in court documents this month that its MedNow telehealth service only serves patients in Michigan and that it does not promote the service outside the state.

“Spectrum Health has not purposefully directed its activities at residents of the forum state. Nor has plaintiff established the required connection between the forum and the underlying controversy,” Spectrum Health’s attorney, Amanda Fielder of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, wrote in a motion seeking dismissal of the case brought by Mednow Clinics LLC in Colorado.

Mednow Clinics claims ownership of the name to use for health care services through a federally registered trademark. The lawsuit seeks a court order protecting the trademark and prohibiting Spectrum Health’s use of its “confusingly similar” name, plus damages, profits generated by MedNow, and legal fees, as MiBiz previously reported.

In its response to the lawsuit, Spectrum Health said that MedNow “provides services only to patients who are physically located in the State of Michigan” and that “every patient is required to confirm his or her location within the State of Michigan.” Spectrum Health’s MedNow service also uses only care providers who are licensed in Michigan.

Because Spectrum Health “does not do business in Colorado,” the federal court there lacks jurisdiction and should dismiss the case, according to the filings.

“The mere fact that Spectrum Health’s MedNow program is accessible through the web or related app is insufficient as a matter of law. And there is no evidence that Spectrum Health ‘intentionally directed’ its MedNow web app to Colorado, or its residents,” according to court documents. “Indeed, this is negated by the fact that the app requires potential patients to confirm that they are in Michigan to schedule services, and then subsequently confirm that they are in Michigan to receive the services.”

Spectrum Health launched its MedNow virtual health service in late 2015. The service connects patients with physicians by videoconferencing on a computer or via a smartphone or tablet application. They can use the service to consult for minor medical conditions such as a cough, flu, rash or fever.

In its original court filing, Mednow Clinics said it began using the name in June 2011 for a medical staffing service and received federal registration in January 2012. The company started using the Mednow name for its medical clinics in 2014 and claims trademark protection through common-law rights and registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mednow Clinics operates two medical clinics and offers telemedicine services by telephone and video, according to court documents. The company stated it was in the process of extending the telemedicine service to other states, including Nebraska, Wyoming and Kansas.

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