Humana is suing a company it claims infringed on its trademark by using its subsidiary's name in advertisements that aired on the Rush Limbaugh radio show.
The insurer claims it has suffered the backlash of the Preval Group's advertisement of its Concentra memory aid pills during Limbaugh's show last week. Humana, which is the parent company of Concentra Health Services, filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Louisville to stop Preval from using the Concentra name, reported the Associated Press.
The ads aired at the height of public criticism surrounding Limbaugh's controversial remarks about a Georgetown law student who advocated for contraception coverage from insurers. As a result, Humana said it has received angry phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts from people opposed to Limbaugh's comments who say they will stop doing business with the company, according to Bloomberg.
Humana claims Preval deliberately advertised for its memory pills on the Limbaugh program to "garner widespread attention," a decision that has caused Humana customers to mistakenly associate the Concentra memory pills with its Concentra unit.
The two companies have been embroiled in a dispute over the Concentra name since late last year. After Preval ran a newspaper ad in October 2011, Humana demanded it stop advertisements using the name Concentra because it infringed on Humana's trademark. "Specifically, we are concerned that customers may believe that Humana is the source of products and services being offered by Preval Direct and/or Preval Group or that those goods and services are endorsed by Humana," Humana's attorney, Kenneth Viers, wrote Nov. 3. But instead of complying with Humana's request, the Preval Group began advertising nationally and purchasing keyword advertising terms.
Concentra has posted a statement on its website related to the Limbaugh show advertising controversy, The Hill's Healthwatch reported. "We are not affiliated with this company or this product in any way," the company wrote. "We apologize for any confusion created by this event, but assure you that this advertising is not from our company."
Preval spokeswoman Jackaline Rutter told Bloomberg that the companies "are currently working to reach an agreement." She added that Preval didn't buy Concentra advertising specifically targeted for the Limbaugh show, but rather for any program airing between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in New York.