Allscripts files trademark lawsuit against telemed platform CarePortMD

The company says its name is too similar to its CarePort Health subsidiary, and is "highly likely to cause confusion."
By Kat Jercich
11:54 AM
Allscripts trade show booth display

Allscripts filed a trademark lawsuit in federal district court on Thursday against CarePortMD, a Delaware-based telehealth company. 

In the suit, the EHR giant argues that it has used the CarePort trademark since 2013 and that in 2018 the telemedicine company changed its name from ER at Home to CarePortMD. This, says Allscripts, could cause confusion among potential consumers.

"CarePortMD’s use of CarePortMD in connection with its services is highly likely to cause confusion with Allscripts' services provided under the CarePort mark, because CarePortMD’s services are directed to healthcare services, including without limitation telemedicine services through an online platform, which are similar to or conflict with Allscripts’ healthcare software services, also offered via an online platform," says Allscripts in its suit.

"CarePortMD followed the guidelines put forth by the [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] and was issued a lawful trademark on a name that is a conjugate of 3 common terms. No objections were made by Allscripts during the requisite 6 month period prior to the issue of our trademark," said CarePortMD CEO Dr. Ashok Subramanian in a statement to Healthcare IT News. "We did in fact make several deliberate and amiable attempts to understand and resolve the nature of the Allscripts concern after they approached us, but they were unanswered."

"Unfortunately, we view this as an example of large business strangling promising startups for no justifiable reason – regrettably at the expense of the much-needed and effective care model we have deployed. We put our trust into the USPTO’s process of granting our trademark," Subramanian continued.

Allscripts did not respond for a request for comment.

WHY IT MATTERS

According to the filing, Allscripts became aware of CarePortMD – and its use of the name – in November 2019. 

Around that same time, it also became aware that CarePortMD had obtained a federal registration for CarePortMD, which is currently in the name of ER at Home, LLC. "However, upon information and belief, ER at Home, LLC now operates under the name CarePortMD, LLC," reads the filing.

Allscripts argues that CarePortMD's use of the name is likely to cause confusion among potential clients "to the detriment of Allscripts and its actual and prospective consumers."

It also says that Allscripts' counsel sent letters to CarePortMD starting in December 2019 asking the company to stop using the name and that, after months and back and forth, the telehealth organization has refused to do so.

Allscripts is asking for an injunction against CarePortMD to prevent it from using the CarePortMD name, for the CarePortMD registration to be transferred to Allscripts and for damages caused by the alleged infringement.

THE LARGER TREND

Allscripts filed its suit in anticipation of its sale of CarePort Health to WellSky for $1.35 billion. 

Allscripts bought CarePort in 2016 to help bolster its population health management software. 

In 2018, CarePort Health took over management of AllScripts' Care Management technology to aid with acute-case management and post-acute referrals.

Earlier this summer, CarePort launched a tool to help hospitals comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' interoperability final rules.

"It is time for cross-continuum care coordination to be made a priority, and CarePort's extensive network is uniquely positioned to foster increased communication and transparency between hospitals, physicians and post-acute providers," said CarePort CEO and founder Dr. Lissy Hu in a statement in May.

ON THE RECORD

"As a result of CarePortMD’s infringing conduct, Allscripts has suffered substantial damages in an amount to be proven at trial, as well as the continuing loss of the goodwill and reputation established by Allscripts under its federally registered mark and other marks," wrote Allscripts' representatives in the suit.

"This continuing loss of goodwill cannot be properly calculated, and thus constitutes irreparable harm and an injury for which Allscripts has no adequate remedy at law. Allscripts will continue to suffer irreparable harm unless this Court enjoins CarePortMD’s conduct," they continued.

 

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Email: kjercich@himss.org
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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