Netbus Claims ‘NatureM.D.’ Trademark Noninfringing on Pharmavite’s ‘Nature Made’

In a complaint filed Monday in the Central District of California, Netbus makes a case for a declaratory judgment that its use of trademark “NatureM.D.” to market and sell nutritional supplements has not infringed on Pharmavite’s “Nature Made” trademark, calling Pharmavite’s infringement allegations “frivolous” and “in bad faith.”

The complaint explained that dietary supplement company Netbus owns the NatureM.D. trademark, pursuant to Application Serial No. 88/905,682 filed May 7, 2020. The mark was originally to be spelled “NatureMD” but was revised Aug. 5, 2020, to add the periods and approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Sept. 1, 2020.

According to the complaint, counsel for Pharmavite sent a cease-and-desist letter to Netbus’ counsel on July 1, 2020, alleging that “Netbus’ use of NATUREMD would infringe the industry-leading NATURE MADE brand, and will otherwise detrimentally affect our client’s long-standing prior rights in NATURE MADE on dietary supplement goods. Pharmavite is therefore compelled to take action against your use or proposed use of this mark.” Further, Pharmavite claimed that the pronunciations of NatureMD and Nature Made easily could be conflated, postulating that consumers may pronounce NatureMD as “Nature Med.”

Pharmavite brought the matter to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, at which the proceeding still is pending. Netbus filed an answer to Pharmavite’s opposition denying the allegations and maintains that its use of both NatureM.D. and NatureMD do not constitute infringement, bringing this civil action in the meantime.

“No matter how well-known the NATURE MADE brand may or may not be, Phamavite does not have a monopoly on all marks that include the word NATURE, even if they may be used in connection with dietary and nutritional supplement,” Netbus argues, noting that there exist “numerous” other companies with registered trademarks including the word “nature” or similar renderings. “Inherent in the meaning and relationship of the word NATURE to dietary and nutritional supplements, the word NATURE is not strong in a trademark sense or significance.”

By this action, Netbus hopes for a judgment declaring that the two trademarks in question will not produce confusion and that it has not infringed on Pharmavite’s Nature Made trademark, among other fees and relief.

The plaintiff is represented by the Law Offices of Kamran Fattahi.