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BRIEF: Judge blocks new Meriter partner from using 'Unity'

By David Wahlberg, The Wisconsin State Journal
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Feb. 05--A federal judge Wednesday temporarily barred Meriter Health Services' new partner, UnityPoint Health, from using "Unity" as a stand-alone word in any marketing in the territory of competitor Unity Health Plans.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Conley comes after Unity Health Plans, affiliated with UW Health, sued to block Iowa-based UnityPoint Health from using its name in Unity Health Plans' 20-county southwestern Wisconsin territory.

Unity Health Plans "has demonstrated a better-than-negligible chance" of winning the lawsuit, Conley said. But, he added, "this remains an extremely close case."

Meriter, including Physicians Plus Insurance Corp., affiliated with UnityPoint Health in January. Meriter intends to be renamed Meriter UnityPoint Health.

Unity Health Plans claims that name would cause confusion for health care consumers.

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(c)2014 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)

Visit The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) at www.wisconsinstatejournal.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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