Allscripts sues telemedicine startup CarePortMD over its name

Allscripts is asking a federal court to void a telemedicine company’s trademark for the name “CarePortMD,” arguing it’s too similar to a trademark it holds for “CarePort,” according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Allscripts in its complaint accuses CarePortMD, a Newark, Del.-based telemedicine and urgent care company that formerly did business as ER at Home, of trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition. Allscripts claimed it and its customers are harmed by CarePortMD’s use of “confusingly similar” branding.

Allscripts, which is based in Chicago, filed the lawsuit in a Delaware federal court.

Allscripts since November 2013 has held a trademark registration for “CarePort” from the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. Allscripts’ CarePort Health business, which Allscripts announced plans to sell earlier this week, offers care coordination software that connects acute and post-acute care providers.

Allscripts has continuously used the “CarePort” mark since at least January 2013, according to the company’s complaint. Allscripts on Tuesday announced plans to sell its CarePort Health business to WellSky, a company that develops software tools for post-acute care providers, for $1.35 billion.

Allscripts in late 2019 learned about CarePortMD, which since September 2018 has held a trademark registration from USPTO for “CarePortMD.” The “CarePortMD” mark, according to its USPTO registration, is for “telemedicine services; urgent medical care centers; dispensing of pharmaceuticals; integrated outpatient healthcare services; medical clinic services.”

CarePortMD has been using that name since July 2018, according to the registration.

Allscripts’ counsel in December 2019 sent a letter to the attorney listed in CarePortMD’s USPTO registration, requesting that CarePortMD stop using the branding, according to the complaint. Allscripts’ counsel also requested that the Delaware company abandon its trademark registration and transfer the CarePortMD domain name to Allscripts. A month later, it sent the letter directly to CarePortMD.

CarePortMD’s counsel responded to Allscripts’ letter in January to say the company would keep using its branding. The two companies have not been able to resolve the dispute outside of court.

Allscripts in its complaint argues CarePortMD’s branding is “highly likely to cause confusion with Allscripts’ services,” as they both provide healthcare services offered through online platforms.

Allscripts is seeking damages, as well as an order for CarePortMD to stop using its name and for USPTO to cancel CarePortMD’s trademark registration.

Dr. Ashok Subramanian, CarePortMD’s CEO, in an email said the company followed guidelines from USPTO to obtain its trademark registration and called the CarePortMD name a “conjugate of 3 common terms.” Allscripts didn’t make any objections during the six-month period before CarePortMD was issued its registration, Subramanian said.

“We made several unanswered attempts to understand the nature of the Allscripts concern after they approached us,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, we view this as an example of large business strangling promising startups for no justifiable reason — 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.”

Allscripts did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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