IU Health sues orthopedic practice for alleged trademark infringement


Indianapolis-based IU Health and Methodist Health Group filed a lawsuit with the Southern District of Indiana on Nov. 1 accusing an orthopedic sports medicine practice of trademark infringement.

For almost 100 years, Methodist Hospital of Indiana had been operated by Methodist Health Group and its predecessors. IU Health began operating Methodist Hospital in 1997 and gained exclusive rights to use and sublicense the "Methodist" mark in connection with healthcare services, according to the lawsuit. 

In 1990, the defendant in the suit, Thomas A. Brady Sports Medicine Center, began operating a clinic on the hospital's campus called Methodist Sports Medicine. Since then the clinic has expanded to six locations across Central Indiana, according to its website.

The organizations also became partners and developed ASCs together.

But IU Health and Methodist Health Group learned in 2019 that the practice planned to move its primary location from the Methodist campus to that of Franciscan Alliance, a competing health system in Mishawaka, Ind., according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs requested that the practice stop using the "Methodist" mark, but the practice allegedly refused.

"[Thomas A. Brady Sports Medicine Center] is and has been wilfully and intentionally trading upon the goodwill in the Methodist mark that plaintiffs developed at their considerable expense and effort ... and is causing plaintiffs substantial and irreparable harm and injury," the lawsuit states.

IU Health and Methodist Health Group have requested a jury trial to address the allegations raised in the complaint.

Thomas A. Brady Sports Medicine Center did not immediately respond to Becker's request for comment.

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