Harvard Bioscience Faces Injunctions
As Harvard Bioscience, Inc. awaits its day in court, the company will be allowed to continue using the Harvard name as long as it never appears in the color crimson or in the same font the University employs.
The decision is the result of a pre-trial injunction handed down last week by a federal judge in the trademark infringement suit between the University and the medical equipment company.
Under the injunction, Harvard Bioscience must alter the color and font on the labels on certain products and remove any that say only Harvard.
Both sides are cautious to speculate what effect, if any, the injunction will have on the trials outcome.
The first thing to remember is that the case has not yet been decided, University spokesperson Joe Wrinn said yesterday. But its evident that the judge decided that the misuse of the name was egregious enough to warrant the injunction.
Harvard Bioscience CFO Jim Warren said the company is taking the courts injunction in stride.
"We would have liked the judge to have denied the injunction completely," Warren said. "But we expected it, and we are busy right now trying to comply with this ruling."
Harvard Bioscience has used the word Harvard in its name since 1901, but it changed its name from Harvard Apparatus to Harvard Bioscience last September.
It was that name change, Wrinn said, that prompted the University to file suit on Dec. 26, on the grounds that the Harvard Bioscience name implies a connection to the University and the Medical School.
We have bioscience classes and we teach and do research in the field of
bioscience, he said.
But Warren said that the name change was merely meant to reflect the
broader services offered by the company after a series of acquisitions.
Harvard Bioscience has 30 days to comply with the injunction. Meanwhile, it will continue to operate under the Harvard name, pending the outcome of the trial. With a court date still months away, that day wont be anytime soon.
Staff writer Kate L. Rakoczy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.