October 21, 2014
   
Children Without Borders Will Alter Its Name Following Dispute

February 6, 2012 — Children Without Borders, a nonprofit based in Milton that provides medical care to children in Costa Rica, which has gone by that name since its founding in 2007, will change its name following the settlement of a trademark dispute with Switzerland-based Doctors Without Borders.

The new name— Children's Well-Being Foundation.—will take effect within a few weeks, according to Executive Director Jennifer Tegan.

Besides settling the dispute, the new name reflects the evolution of the organization over the past few years with expanded programming to better serve the needs of its clients, said Tegan.

“As a result of these expansions and our continued efforts to help low-income and homeless families in Costa Rica, we felt it was time to evolve our brand to more accurately reflect the all encompassing services and programs we now offer,” she said. “Our new name and brand, Children’s Well-Being, captures the range of benefits and programs we offer our clients who rely on us to stay healthy and escape poverty.”

In addition to pediatric preventative care already offered, the organization has added psychiatric, ophthalmology, and dental services as well as health education, family services, and child care.

Last Friday, 230 people attended the organization’s Winter Soiree at the Black Rock Country Club in Hingham to celebrate the new name, raising $35,000.

“Through these difficult times, we’ve remained dedicated to our cause and focused on helping those that rely on the Children Without Borders clinics to be healthy,” said George Whitelaw, founder of Children Without Borders. “As a result, we’ve grown and have been able to do even more for those that need us. I’m proud of the challenges we’ve overcome and excited for the future as Children’s Well-Being Foundation.”

Doctors Without Borders, based in Geneva, also known by its French name, Medecins Sans Frontieres, had sent the Milton organization a cease-and-desist letter, The Boston Globe reported in 2010, saying “they were acting to protect their doctors, many of whom work in dangerous countries, and they did not want confusion to be generated about their group’s 'working principles.’”

According to a recent report in the Globe, “The Milton organization preemptively filed a federal lawsuit against Doctors Without Borders, seeking a judgment declaring that its name did not infringe on the larger organization’s trademark.”

The dispute never went to court and was settled between without Children’s Well-Being having to pay any damages, it was reported.

As part of its rebranding effort, Children’s Well-Being said it will revamp its website within a few weeks.

The organization recently opened a third clinic in Cost Rica with the help of the United States Department of State and Central American Regional Security Initiative to stem the escalation of drug trafficking.

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