Life Alert sues CVS, Connect America

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ENCINO, Calif.--Life Alert, the PERS company that owns the rights to the phrase “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!,” is locked in litigation with pharmacy giant CVS Caremark and its PERS partner, Connect America Medical Alarm Company. Life Alert’s lawsuit, filed July 14 in California Central District Court, alleges federal trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition.

Isaac Shepher, owner of Life Alert, told Security Systems News the lawsuit was brought because CVS and its partner, Connect America, which markets its PERS products at CVS pharmacies, allegedly used Life Alert’s brand and slogan without permission. “They’ve been violating our ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’ registered trademark,” said Shepher. “We’re not even sure how long it’s been going on.”

According to the legal paperwork submitted to the court, Life Alert has been providing emergency medical response service and related products for more than 20 years.

Ken Gross, president of Connect America, said he was unable to comment specifically about allegations made in the lawsuit, but said Connect America has been partnering with CVS since August of 2007. “We have an alliance partnership with [CVS] to promote medical alert units nationwide,” Gross said. “The units are displayed and advertised in their stores … We’ve had a great relationship during the year we’ve been together.”

Gross is also president of the Medical Alert Monitoring Association, a national association that promotes the development and policies of the medical alert monitoring and telehealth industry.

Life Alert has requested a jury trial, but no date has been determined.