I guess crosses don’t scare off evil vampire attorneys. A faith-based group that runs healthcare centers, after being accused of trademark infringement over its blue cross logo by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has gone on the offensive and sued the insurance giant.
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health Systems, Inc. (that’s a mouthful, “SCL” for short) is a faith based healthcare organization that operates eight hospitals and more than 190 ambulatory service centers across Colorado, Kansas and Montana. Like many other Christian-founded health services it uses a cross symbol in association with its business. In 1976, SCL started using a logo with a superimposed heart on a cross. In 2014, SCL updated its logo to the below color scheme of blue and green and filed a trademark registration application. That’s when Blue Cross and Blue Shield paid a house visit.
Blue Cross through various “statements, innuendos, and outright threats” claimed that the SCL logo infringes Blue Cross’s trademark rights to its logos as seen to the right below. Blue Cross demanded that SCL discontinue using the color blue as part of its logo even though the blues are in different shades. Blue Cross opposed the registration of the trademark and threatened to discontinue its business relationship with SCL. Not being able to accept Blue Cross insurance at any of its medical facilities would greatly affect SCL’s business.
Instead of turning the other cheek, these sisters filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement and cancellation of Blue Cross’s trademark claiming that the Blue Cross cross logo has not been used for a period of at least three years. These sisters aren’t messing around. So when looking at the logos would you be confused to think that the blue and green cross is related to the blue shield or cross? Seemingly, Blue Cross is trying to assert rights to a basic geometric shape and the whole palette of blue colors; maybe a bit of a prayer (get it??)
Hopefully, these parties can reach a peaceful accord to this biblical-sized problem.
nun