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A Red Cross they both bear

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by slappy4428, Aug 9, 2007.

  1. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Pharmaceutical giant sues Red Cross over logo



    By David Crary, Associated Press

    NEW YORK - Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant that uses a red cross as its trademark, sued the American Red Cross on Wednesday, demanding that the charity halt the use of the red cross symbol on products that it sells to the public.

    Johnson & Johnson said that it has had exclusive rights to use the trademark on certain commercial products -- including bandages and first-aid cream -- for more than 100 years.

    It contends that the Red Cross is supposed to use the symbol only in connection with nonprofit relief services.

    The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, marked the breakdown of months of behind-the-scenes negotiations and prompted an angry response from the Red Cross.

    "For a multibillion-dollar drug company to claim that the Red Cross violated a criminal statute ... simply so that J&J can make more money, is obscene," Red Cross President Mark Everson said.

    Johnson & Johnson began using the red cross design as a trademark in 1887 -- six years after the creation of the American Red Cross but before the organization received its congressional charter in 1900. The lawsuit contends that the charter did not empower the Red Cross to engage in commercial activities competing with a private business.

    "After more than a century of strong cooperation in the use of the Red Cross trademark ... we were very disappointed to find that the American Red Cross started a campaign to license the trademark to several businesses for commercial purposes," Johnson & Johnson said in a prepared statement.

    It said the products include baby mitts, nail clippers, combs, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers and humidifiers.

    The Red Cross said that many of the products in question were part of health and safety kits, and that profits from the sales -- totaling less than $10 million -- went to boost Red Cross disaster-response efforts.

    The suit asks the Red Cross to turn over the products in question to New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson for destruction and also seeks unspecified punitive damages.

    "The Red Cross products that J&J wants to take away from consumers ... are those that help Americans get prepared for life's emergencies," Everson said. "I hope that the courts and Congress will not allow Johnson & Johnson to bully the American Red Cross."
     
  2. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Do these people not employ PR folks?

    "Fuck it, we'll sue one of the most respected charities on earth. How could we come out looking bad?"

    Get a brain, Morans.
     
  3. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    That's what I was thinking Zeke. I could understand going after another pharmaceutical company, but the Red Cross? Seriously?
     
  4. WTF? When does J&J use a red cross?

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  5. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

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  6. Gotcha ... still don't think they have a case, what with the red cross being an international symbol and all ...
     
  7. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    There is that little copyright symbol though...

    But I agree...they shouldn't have a case at all.
     
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    In most corporate cases, you'd be right. But J&J also has a pretty positive reputation.
    And if the Red Cross did violate an agreement...
     
  9. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    But the Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization. Johnson & Johnson isn't. There should be no case. I mean, it's just a red cross after all.
     
  10. ifilus

    ifilus Active Member

    Wrong. The very essence of the case is the fact that the Red Cross has begun using the symbol for profit. Therefore, J & J has every right to sue for infringement, and will probably prevail. And should.

    "After more than a century of strong cooperation in the use of the Red Cross trademark ... we were very disappointed to find that the American Red Cross started a campaign to license the trademark to several businesses for commercial purposes," Johnson & Johnson said in a prepared statement.

    It said the products include baby mitts, nail clippers, combs, toothbrushes, hand sanitizers and humidifiers.
     
  11. Yeah, I now agree with slappy and ifilus ... I probably should have read the whole story.
     
  12. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I must have missed something. Even if the Red Cross sells humidifiers with the Red Cross logo on it, they aren't doing so for profit.

    They're a non-profit organization.
     
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