Even if the plaintiff wins this case, there’s a third company with a similar name.
Yesterday, healthcare financing company CarePayment Technologies, Inc., filed a lawsuit (pdf) against CarePay, Inc., claiming trademark infringement.
The plaintiff uses the domain name CarePayment.com to offer its services. The defendant uses the domain name CarePayInc.com for its database of health care costs.
But there’s even more confusion. When I Googled “carepay” to find the defendant, the first result was CarePay.com. That’s another health company that offers a health benefit wallet in Europe.
This lawsuit gives me a couple of thoughts.
First, some brandable names will end up being rather generic or at least prevalent in a particular industry. Payments in healthcare are big and cover many different aspects of payments, and terms like care, health, and medical are going to be attached to words like pay to create brands.
Second, if you start a business on a domain name with a word that can be shortened, try to buy the shorter domain as well. In the case of CarePayment.com, CarePay.com is an obvious domain that could cause confusion. While you’re at it, try to secure the plural of a singular word you own; in this case, CarePayments.com.