HealthPartners, Wal-Mart battle over logo in court

Bloomington, Minn.-based HealthPartners is seeking a federal court judgment that declares it is not infringing on the trademark rights of Wal-Mart and Sam's West, both based in Bentonville, Ark.

Between 2011 and 2013, HealthPartners combined with two other Minnesota organizations — Park Nicollet Health Services in St. Louis Park and Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater. 

After the transactions were completed, HealthPartners enlisted a brand design firm to develop a new logo for the combined system. The new logo features three interlocking squares and incorporates elements and colors from each organization's old logo. HealthPartners began using the new logo in April 2014. 

Earlier this month, HealthPartners filed a federal complaint to resolve uncertainty surrounding its logo. According to the lawsuit, Wal-Mart and Sam's began demanding HealthPartners stop using the new logo in 2014, saying the new design constitutes trademark infringement, as it closely resembles a logo they use, and further use of HealthPartners' logo would cause trademark dilution and constitute unfair competition.

Over the past two years, the parties have exchanged emails and letters and met in person to try to resolve the dispute, but Wal-Mart and Sam's continue to object to HealthPartners' registration and use of its new logo.

HealthPartners is seeking a judgment declaring it has the right to use and register its logo trademarks and that the use of its logo does not infringe on any of defendants' rights or damage defendants in any way.

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