MDAnywhere.com, Inc. v. MDEverywhere, Inc., 00-CV-216 (M.D.N.C. Aug. 15, 2000).
Factual Background Edit
Both plaintiff and defendant provide similar types of informational services to health care providers. Dr. Rudra Rai (“Rai”) registered the domain name “mdanywhere.com” in May 1999. Rai filed an intent-to-use trademark application for the mark MDANYWHERE in August 1999, and claims that the plaintiff corporation started using the mark at about the same time Rai filed a second intent-to-use application for the same mark on November 13, 1999.
On February 10, 2000, Rai filed an application to register the mark “mdanywhere.com.” Defendant filed an intent-to-use application for the mark MDEVERYWHERE on November 15, 1999, and began the process of changing its name to MDEverywhere at about that time.
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
Plaintiff brought an action for trademark infringement, and soon thereafter filed a motion for preliminary injunction. Defendant opposed the motion and filed its own motion for preliminary injunction. The court, however, denied both parties’ motions.
Although the court found a substantial likelihood of confusion due to the similarities in the parties’ marks and services, the court found the evidence of record unclear on the issue of priority. The court also rejected plaintiff’s claim that it would suffer irreparable harm due to defendant’s larger and more established company, which could interfere with plaintiff’s ability to secure additional funding. According to the court, the disparity in the parties funding ($17 million versus $1 million) actually worked against plaintiff, because defendant would suffer greater financial harm in the event of an injunction. And because defendant had a far more substantial market presence, it would be harmed more by an injunction.
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