BENTON -- Magistrate Judge Reona Daly granted summary judgment for SSM Healthcare Corporation in a trademark dispute with a healthcare clinic.
Daly issued a 12-page ruling Dec. 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, granting SSM Health's motion.
Plaintiff Midwest Medical and Occupational Services SC filed a lawsuit against SSM Healthcare Corporation and Physician Services Corporation of Southern Illinois Inc., alleging they violated the Lanham Act, the Illinois Trademark Registration and Protection Act, the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Illinois
common law regarding trademark.
According to Daly's order, "the plaintiff opened a walk-in health services clinic on Aug. 1, 2013 at 1104 S. 42nd St. in Mount Vernon under the name 'Express Care of Mt. Vernon,'" whereas, "in September 2014, the plaintiff registered its name with the Illinois secretary of state, registration number 106994, noting first use of that mark on July 1, 2013."
SSM Health also operates a clinic in Mt. Vernon via a subsidiary at 602 42nd St. The order states that SSM Health's clinic opened in 2014 under the name Good Samaritan Convenient Care.
Between late 2015 and early 2016, "SSM Health began rebranding many of its healthcare sites and, as part of this initiative the name of the clinic at issue was changed from 'Good Samaritan Convenient Care' to 'SSM Health Express Clinic.'"
Midwest Medical owners Christie Foster and Christy Kelley told the court that the name change on SSM Health's part caused "significant public confusion between their clinic and the defendants’ clinic."
Foster and Kelley provided evidence of several times when Midwest Medical employees documented the problems.
However, Daly concluded that Midwest Medical " failed to adduce evidence creating a genuine
issue of material fact."
She wrote that Midwest Medical "does not have an enforceable trademark in 'Express Care of Mt. Vernon' or 'Express Care,' as required to pursue a claim under the Lanham Act."
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois Case number 3:17-cv-00388-RJD