New York Mets Accuse Florida Medical Services Company of Trademark Infringement
According to reporting from the New York Post, the New York Mets have filed a trademark complaint against Comprehensive Health Services, a medical services company based in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Last month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded Comprehensive Health Services a trademark for their proprietary software that goes by the name of Medical Exam Tracking System or METS. In this post, our West Palm Beach trademark litigation attorneys analyze this complaint.
Mets and METS: Is there a Reasonable Chance for Customer Confusion?
The key to any trademark infringement case is proving that there is a chance that ordinary, reasonable consumers will be confused about the nature and relationship of the brands in question. Ultimately, the purpose of a trademark is to distinguish a brand, allowing a company to build an identity and a relationship with consumers. When analyzing this issue, the USPTO and the courts will consider many different factors. The first factor in any case is the similarity of the original trademark and the new allegedly infringing mark. Of course, in this case, the Mets and METS are certainly quite similar. However, that fact alone is not sufficient to prove that reasonable consumers are likely to be confused. Indeed, it is actually quite the contrary. After all, a medical services company in Florida is in a far different market than is a professional baseball team in New York City. The MLB team must address this counter argument head on.
The New York Mets Argument: Both Brands Use Software
In their complaint to the USPTO, the New York Mets argue that they are “practically in the same business” as Comprehensive Health Services’ METS program. While it may not seem like it on the surface, the New York Mets contend that both companies are in the same field, because the Mets also have proprietary software that they use to offer fans information about the team. On the grounds, they argue that consumers may associate the medical software with the baseball team.
Of course, the medical service software offered by METS is a far different information technology product. As such, the argument made by the MLB team appears to be a fairly significant stretch, and it is unlikely that officials at the USPTO are going to agree with the team’s view on the issue. That being said, it is always important to monitor decisions from the USPTO for any new policies changes or updated interpretations. Our firm always stays up to date on the latest developments in trademark law and USPTO guidance.
Contact Our Florida Trademark Litigation Lawyers Today
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our firm handles all aspects of trademark disputes. If you are currently locked in a trademark infringement dispute, please contact us today to schedule a free review of your case. From our offices in West Palm Beach, Wellington and Miami, we represent clients throughout the region, including in Fort Lauderdale, Homestead, Kendale Lakes, Palmetto Bay and South Miami Heights.