Northwell files motion to dismiss NYU Langone’s ad lawsuit

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By Dan Sears

Northwell Health filed a motion in a Manhattan federal court on Tuesday seeking to dismiss an NYU Langone Health lawsuit filed in June. In that lawsuit, NYU Langone alleges that Northwell used a similar purple color in its ads, prompting “confusingly similar advertising.”

On Tuesday, Northwell responded, filing the motion to dismiss.

The lawsuit is “unfounded,” Northwell spokeswoman Barbara Osborn said in a statement.

“NYU Langone does not own a trademark registration for any shade of purple for healthcare services, and its case is based on cherry-picking certain pieces of Northwell advertising to make false claims, including an attack on our hospital’s week-long COVID-19 recognition of healthcare workers,” Osborn said.

In NYU Langone’s lawsuit, the health system alleges that Northwell used NYU’s “very similar color purple,” and also its similar accent colors, font styles and types, layouts and formats.

“In their motion, Northwell attempts to minimize their brazen copying of NYU Langone’s distinctive and recognizable advertising – including fonts, layouts, and color schemes – to confuse patients, who deserve the best care and the best outcomes,” NYU Langone spokesman Steve Ritea said in a statement on Tuesday.

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“It’s no coincidence that this shameless mimicry began as NYU Langone substantially grew on Long Island, posing a perceived threat in the region,” he added. “The side-by-side images in NYU Langone’s complaint speak for themselves.”

But in the Northwell statement, Osborn said, “Northwell has a history of using a variety of fonts and colors from our copyright-protected Northwell ‘Constellation’ logo along with showcasing our accomplishments in research, education and clinical excellence to differentiate ourselves from others in the markets – and we have been doing so since our 2016 rebrand.”

Now, interested parties await the court’s decision.

Some of the images NYU Langone Health presented in its lawsuit.


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