Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is suing Oconomowoc-based Lake Country Pediatrics in a trademark dispute over the branding of services.
In the lawsuit, filed last week in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital argues that its use of “Delafield Pediatrics” in promoting its primary care services at 3195 Hillside Drive in Delafield does not constitute trademark infringement or unfair competition.
According to the lawsuit, Gregory Moyer, founder of Lake Country Pediatrics, contacted Children’s Hospital by email in May 2017, saying his group had noticed that the “Delafield Pediatrics” name was “coming up under the (Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin) clinic in Delafield” and that the hospital could not call itself that because Lake Country Pediatrics owned the name. Children’s Hospital contacted Lake Country Pediatrics’ office manager on July 20 and informed her that it had not changed its position, the lawsuit said.
In a Aug. 11 letter to Children’s Hospital, an attorney representing Lake Country Pediatrics again argued the Oconomowoc group owned the “Delafield Pediatrics” name and accused Children’s Hospital of trademark infringement and unfair competition. Lake Country Pediatrics demanded the hospital cease use of the name.
In a Aug. 23 letter, Children’s Hospital responded, denying Lake Country Pediatrics has trademark rights in the “Delafield Pediatrics” name, arguing the name is generic and descriptive. On Aug. 25, Lake Country Pediatrics filed an application for registration of the trademark “Delafield Pediatrics,” claiming in its application a date of first use of Oct. 31, 1998 and a date of first use in commerce of Nov. 9, 2006.
In the lawsuit, Children’s Hospital notes that Lake Country Pediatrics has consistently used lakecountrypeidatrics.com as its website to market itself. Two weeks before sending its Aug. 11 letter to Children’s Hospital, Lake Country Pediatrics registered the domain name of delafieldpediatrics.com, according to the suit. That address automatically redirects to www.lakecountrypediatrics.com.
The lawsuit claims that Children’s Hospital’s inability to use “Delafield Pediatrics” would “severely hamper its ability to communicate to patients the nature of its services.”
An email and call seeking comment from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and call to Lake Country Pediatrics were not immediately returned.