backtop


Print 101 comment(s) - last by omega356.. on Aug 22 at 11:28 AM


Best Buy is threatening to sue a Catholic priest over his Beetle that reads "God Squad". Best Buy claims that violates its Geek Squad trademark.  (Source: Flickr)
Best Buy accuses Catholic Priest of violating its trademark and Geek Squad look

Father Luke Strand of the Holy Family Parish in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, has a pretty interesting ride.  He drives around town in a black Volkswagen Beetle with a logo featuring the phrase "God Squad" emblazoned on it.  That logo and the vehicle itself bear a striking similarity to the mobile service vehicles of Best Buy's service team, the Geek Squad.

Apparently, Best Buy isn't pleased with its look being appropriated by this man of the cloth.  Lawyers for the electronics retailer sent Father Strand a cease-and-desist letter telling him to ditch the logo or face consequences.  

Father Strand mentioned the letter at his Sunday Mass.

Speaking to the
Fond du Lac Reporter, Father Strand defended the logo.  He says he uses the logo as a creative way to spur discussions and bring his faith to the community.

Best Buy told reporters for the 
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that while it appreciates Father Strand's sentiments, it cannot stand by and watch its trademarks be violated.

The legal dispute revives a long ongoing question of just how much ownership to an icon a company can claim.  Apple, Inc., for example, has been particularly zealous in legally assailing those who supposedly violated its trademark.  From New York City to music festivals, anyone who used the logo of an Apple -- or particularly a logo of an Apple with a bite out of it -- was hit with lawsuits or cease-and-desist letters. 

Some argue that companies are taking trademark enforcement to far; corporate lawyers would obviously disagree.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Definitely a copy...
By neothe0ne on 8/16/2010 12:39:53 PM , Rating: 5
The priest's logo even copies the way that "squad" is stylized.




RE: Definitely a copy...
By GruntboyX on 8/16/2010 12:46:07 PM , Rating: 1
I thought that through the creative commons license parodies were ok. While the stylizing is similar. The replacement of Geek with God and the changing of the color scheme represents at least a 25% difference. In court the priest would be successful defending his stance.

Not to mention what monetary gain does a church recieve from this? I hardly see this as a confusion of trademarks. And in a wisconsin court I think they will agree. Best Buy needs to take a deep breath. What harm is this man doing?



RE: Definitely a copy...
By Mitch101 on 8/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Definitely a copy...
By Donkeyshins on 8/16/2010 1:23:08 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Religion > BestBuy

I guess BestBuy cant tarnish its image with anything that serves the greater good of humanity. That I could believe would be the basis of the suit.

While I agree that in general your equation is probably accurate (Best Buy is da Debbil), I would never accuse the Catholic church, given it's long and tarnished history, of serving the greater good of humanity.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Shining Arcanine on 8/16/10, Rating: -1
RE: Definitely a copy...
By Shadowself on 8/16/2010 1:42:24 PM , Rating: 5
Ah, and the Inquisition was all about the monarchs? Hardley.

And while it's often referred to at the "Spanish Inquisition" it actually was in many countries, not just Spain.

The Catholic Church has done many things I'm sure it is not now proud of doing and supporting.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/16/2010 6:45:15 PM , Rating: 5
The Catholic Church(and other churches but the Catholics are the largest) even today engages in downright evil practices. Priests in Africa teach that condoms spread HIV to their unfortunatly illiterate parishoners. How many millions are dead or dying due to this? In South America they actively attempt to block scientists from their research by lying to local tribes about their intentions. Some groups down there actively arm local tribes so they can avenge themselves against tribal enemies in exchange for mass conversion(most common actually with Baptist and other non-Catholic missionary groups).

And thats before we even get into India where the atrocities are horrendous(look up the Baptist Church of Tripura), including a decades long genocide against non-Christians and mutilation of women(cutting off of breasts for instance) who do not convert.

There is plenty that the Catholics and other Christian organizations have to answer for. Its not a question of how long they exist.

And before you accuse me of being Atheist, I am a Christian, and ordained. That most of the Christian community looks the other way at the ongoing abuses by our faith in the third world is a disgrace.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/16/2010 8:39:44 PM , Rating: 3
Breaking this into three posts to try and avoid the spam filter which keeps flagging me...

Sorry you only took two minutes. A little more research and you'd know otherwise. From this article:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7014335.stm
quote:
Archbishop Chimoio told our reporter that abstention, not condoms, was the best way to fight HIV/Aids.

"Condoms are not sure because I know that there are two countries in Europe, they are making condoms with the virus on purpose," he alleged, refusing to name the countries.

"They want to finish with the African people. This is the programme. They want to colonise until up to now. If we are not careful we will finish in one century's time."


That is the Archbishop in Mozambique. Its not only him either, I know and work with many native Africans, this is what they push and have pushed for decades now. The Pope's comment may or may not have been out of context, I do not know, but the policy, officially or unofficially, is what is being pursued there.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/16/2010 8:40:23 PM , Rating: 1
As for the Baptist Church of Tripura, here is just one relevant article:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/south_asia/717775...
quote:
Nagmanlal Halam, secretary of the Noapara Baptist Church in Tripura, was arrested late on Monday with a large quantity of explosives.

Mr Sarkar said that allegations about the close links between the state's Baptist Church and the rebel National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have long been made by political parties and police.

Now for the first time, he said, hard evidence supporting the allegations had been found.

I was not aware of ChristianAggression.com, but I am aware that the US mainstream media does not cover the atrocities committed overseas by Christian denominations. Fortunatly there are other sources for media, such as the BBC, which is considered 'mainstream' even if not US-centric.

You are also correct, these are Baptists, not Catholics, but if you read my post I never obscured that fact.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/16/2010 8:41:48 PM , Rating: 1
The Holocaust accusations were not made by myself, I have no idea aside from the fact that some priests, especially in France, were complicit to a degree. However you may wish to look at the role the Catholic's played in Franco's Spain for clearer connections to modern atrocities. Read the link here for more info:
(apparantly this is the link its flagging as spam, complete the address on your own) countrystudies.us/spain/22.htm

I never said the church is inherantly evil, that is an attempt to mischaractorize my argument. I am a Christian myself, obviously I feel the faith does good work. However many of its members are perfectly willing to condemn extremists in other faiths, while ignoring extremists of our own faith. The proper response to this can be found in Matthew 7:
quote:
1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By FITCamaro on 8/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/17/2010 4:24:53 AM , Rating: 1
He isn't a crazy person. He is the Archbishop for Mozambique, a major African nation. Furthermore, if you know people who actually live there, they will tell you that the Catholic churches preach this in their sermons routinely, and even try to arrange protests at family planning centers. Whether or not you think he's crazy, what matters is what his illiterate followers think. Note that the Catholic church has done *nothing* to remove or discredit him, and he's been saying this for years now.

As for the millions they have given food shelter and clothes to, whats your point? That because they do good in some ways they must be absolved of something horribly evil they commit?

And its a far cry from saying "Abstinence is better" to go to "Condoms are soaked in HIV so that the colonialists can take control again".


RE: Definitely a copy...
By tmouse on 8/17/2010 8:32:08 AM , Rating: 3
I work for a major Jewish research center and I personally know dozens of scientists who are not catholic who work closely with the catholic church because many of the leaders in South America and Africa are so corrupt they take the medications and vaccines and sell them on the black market for their own profit. Many demand personal payment to institute vaccine programs, others are not really in charge at all and in at least 5 cases I personally know of millions of dollars of vaccines were left to rot when shipments got “lost”, mishandled or were simply abandoned. The sisters of charity have helped millions worldwide, working in some of the worst places on earth. I work with many people who have come from some of the most impoverished places in the world and would not be the successful bioresearchers they are today if it were not for the education they received from the Catholic Church. From a biological point of view abstainence IS better than a condom but that is really not a practical view. People should know that condoms are only 98% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly; a sperm is more than 400X the size of the aids virus. There is a 3-5% production failure rate in the best of circumstances, no condom company tests for viral exclusion, and latex becomes fragile and porous with age. Of course we all know that only latex condoms help with the prevention of disease, natural ones are totally useless. It’s MUCH better to use condoms but no one should think it is in any way a guarantee of protection from viral diseases.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/17/2010 12:17:31 PM , Rating: 1
Fantastic. Be that as it may, how does that excuse the fact that condoms are actually wonderful at preventing HIV(the 'failure' ratio is usually due to the condom being improperly applied or breaking, not due to the size of sperm, or HIV, latex protects from the virus perfectly as long as there is no failure) and this archbishop is telling people that condoms give them HIV?

Yes its wonderful that the church is sometimes less corrupt than the government. But no one is contending that fact. The governments in Africa are horribly corrupt, they are often complicit in the HIV epidemic(as witnessed by South Africa's goverment's attempts to treat it with tribal medicine), but that does not somehow refute the point that the church is directly contributing to the death of its members by lying about the role of contraception in preventing HIV infections, and that by so doing millions are dying.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/17/2010 1:59:48 AM , Rating: 2
You said MILLIONS were dead and dying because Catholic priests said this. Those are YOUR words. And your proof that this is an official Catholic policy is the words of one, obviously, nutty guy.

Yup, millions dead because of advocating for abstinence. That makes a lot of sense man, really.

From your link:
quote:
the Catholic Church played a leading role in sponsoring the 1992 peace deal that ended a 16-year civil war.


Yeah, just more evidence of all the evils of the Catholic church and their quest to further pile up body counts...oh wait.

I guess bloody civil wars are no match against the sheer destructive force of abstinence on a population.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/17/2010 4:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
So you concede my points then and now its just about numbers.

Mozambique has a population of 22 million, of which at least seven million are Catholic. The HIV infection rate is 16.2% of the population, or a bit more than 3 million people. Of those, at least a third are likely Catholic, although given how they are being taught it would not suprise me if they represented a disproportionate number of the total.

So we have one million on a conservative estimate. In one single African country. How much more math do you want to do?


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/17/2010 1:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
Oh come on, there is NO way you can attribute people getting HIV to the words and teachings of one or two loony's. That's SO irresponsible. Much less millions of people.

Unless you get raped or suffer a freak blood transfusion incident, getting HIV/AID's is 100% your fault. Especially in Africa!

quote:
So you concede my points


You saw concessions in my post? Really?

It's clear that you, like many here, have some grudge against the Catholic church and are REALLY reaching to make your point. Blaming the African HIV epidemic on any one group is just absurd, especially the church.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/17/2010 3:30:29 PM , Rating: 4
You keep saying the guy is a loony. He is not. He is an archbishop and directly in charge of the Catholic church in that nation. They could remove him from his post if they felt he was not properly sending their message, but they do not even in the face of direct protest.

As to your other point, do you honestly believe the wives of men who acquire HIV are to blame for getting the virus? How about the children of those women? Are they to blame for being born with it? At this point they represent the majority of the victims.

And yes, I see concessions when you cease actually addressing the fact that I discredited your attempted rebuttal of my points and instead started trying to prove that my 'millions' figure was inaccurate. That means you are not willing to argue the facts presented and instead just want to diminish the crime committed. Nice try, but I already found a million victims in just one nation. Going to own up to the fact that you were wrong about Catholic leaders in Africa? Going to own up to the fact that the international mainstream news has been covering the Baptist Church of Tripura, and one dosen't have to go to whatever that website was to find such coverage?

Or do I have to do all your research for you while you reply with a couple of dismissive paragraphs and arguments about scope?


RE: Definitely a copy...
By thurston on 8/16/2010 9:12:53 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
When the Catholic church starts going around blowing up buildings and beheading people, then you give me a call.


I guess child rape is OK with you.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Zoridon on 8/17/2010 3:03:55 AM , Rating: 2
Have you ever taken the time to run the numbers to determin what percentage of catholic priest are guilty of child molestation? Nooooo that would require yet another leftist to actually think before they post. Its far easier to take cheap shots at a religion. Your pathetic.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/17/2010 4:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
What does being left or right have to do with it? While I agree that its possible that child molestation is no higher among the ranks of priests than it is among the general population(I doubt this, but say its true), that does nothing to change the fact that the church heiarchy wish complicit in the act by refusing to notify authorities and transferring priests to new locations where they could rape some more. Even the current pope was involved in this tragedy.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/17/2010 4:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
I'll go you one better. How short everyone's memory is. Nobody remembers the IRA after only a decade and a half of peace. Lots of blown up buildings, murdered people, some brutally as examples to other. Amazing that everyone is so forgetful about Christian Terrorism.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/17/2010 2:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
Ok now I know you're not thinking clearly. Members of the IRA might be Christian, but to call them Christian terrorists is just absurd. The IRA are terrorists, or freedom fighters depending on who you ask, but CHRISTIAN terrorists? How do you come to that conclusion?

Are they pushing a Christian agenda? Do they seek out and only murder non-Christians? Are their demands religiously based in any way? The answer to these are most clearly no, so I don't know how you can call them Christian Terrorism.

Reflex, you're reaching here. That's putting it mildly. Fundamentalism is often a form of nationalism in religious disguise


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/17/2010 3:23:54 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they sought out and murdered Protestants as they were a Catholic organization. They had both religious and political goals. Like Al Quaeda, who's primary function is political, not religious but that uses religion as one of their justifications.

Do they represent the Catholic church? Of course not. But then most radicals, religious or otherwise, are not officially sanctioned. And that goes for any religion, Christian or otherwise.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/17/2010 4:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
You say Protestant, they say Englishman.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reflex on 8/17/2010 6:22:09 PM , Rating: 1
You say Jew, they say Zionist. Two can play that game.

They targetted Protestants in Ireland too. Irish ones in fact. Most of their terror for decades was targetted against their fellow Irish, against any they felt were collaborators or Protestants.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By gamerk2 on 8/16/2010 1:53:31 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The Catholic Church has no tarnish in its history.


Inquisition? Crusades? Over 500 years of promoting war throughout Europe against "pagan religions"? Pedophilia?

Excuse me while I ROFL at your comment.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By tastyratz on 8/16/2010 3:44:44 PM , Rating: 2
What? Didn't you know the infallibility of god extends to men in the catholic religion?
But hey, at least he was humble about it.

Just wait, he might have more jokes!


RE: Definitely a copy...
By afkrotch on 8/16/2010 9:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't the bible written by men?


RE: Definitely a copy...
By vortex222 on 8/16/2010 1:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
Especially young boys.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By SublimeSimplicity on 8/16/2010 1:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
I think that by "Religion > Best Buy" the OP was referring to brand loyalty, which is what PR is all about.

If forced to pick sides, people are much more likely to stick with their church and find a new place to buy a washing machine than the other way around.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By tmouse on 8/17/2010 7:55:23 AM , Rating: 3
Wow you really are ignorant. Sure it has had a history; there is not a single solitary example of ANY organization that has grown to any degree of power that has not abused that authority. Yes there are bad apples as there are in ANY organization bar none. But to say it has not benefitted humanity is just plain stupid. There are millions who owe their very lives to the actions of catholic charities (food, shelter, clothing and medical treatment). Medical research often reaches out to the Catholic Church to help implement things like vaccine programs in countries where the governments are either too unorganized or corrupt to help their own populace. In many areas it still remains the best hope for any type of education. Yes its history has tarnish but to say it has not served (and still does) human interest just shows the degree of your own bias and stupidity.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Donkeyshins on 8/17/2010 5:19:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
there is not a single solitary example of ANY organization that has grown to any degree of power that has not abused that authority


But then again, they are supposedly answerable to a higher power and should therefore be less likely to abuse that authority.

When you add up all the prominent abuses over the last 1700 years (the Crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms against the Jews, Papal indulgences and simony, the Thirty Years' War, the persecution and massacre of the gnostics as well as the recent pedophilia scandals), the damages to people (millions killed in the name of Catholicism), property and society are quite horrific - especially as compared to other organized religions.

And I'm not ignorant, I just don't buy into the hype. :)


RE: Definitely a copy...
By tmouse on 8/18/2010 10:24:37 AM , Rating: 2
You lump all by the actions of the few. Yes things have been done that are in direct opposition of what they are supposed to be. So do you think all Germans should be forever linked to the atrocities caused by the Nazis? The Chinese and the Russians also have had regimes that have committed wrongful acts are all members of their governments to be forever tarred by your biased brush. The vast majority of the catholic clergy have lead fairly selfless lives and the good the catholic church has done to 100's of millions over its 2000 year history still exists in spite of the evil that was done in its name. Large scale actions like the inquisition and the purges are easy to spot and take note of, smaller things like free medical care, food and education in local areas or for individuals regardless of belief are harder to collect numbers on since they are not the stuff history is written on. That’s the problem with humans; they say one thing and some will do other things in direct opposition. The good does not excuse the bad but the bad doses not exclude the good. As far as “worse than other organized religions” the problems lie in the lack of a central authority to accumulate the data. The vast majority of the actions you site have been discovered by information kept by the Catholic Church itself. I'm sure the Jewish and Islamic religions have also murdered millions during their history as heretics. Now look at non sectarian governments the death tolls caused by imperialism, and nationalism dwarfs these numbers. it’s not a question of hype, obviously you have your own personal baggage the simple facts are during its 2000 year history far more have been helped than hurt.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Hoeser on 8/19/2010 11:03:50 AM , Rating: 2
"The Catholic Church doesn't make mistakes... Alright, mistakes were made" - George Carlin, Dogma.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By RealTheXev on 8/21/2010 11:19:11 PM , Rating: 2
Best Buy is a company that hires employees, not based on the quality of their skill but on the quality of their credit rating. In my opinion, their reputation has already been tarnished. If this makes national news like I "pray" it will, then I hope it would be a PR nightmare for them.

If you can't tell, I've been burned by them repeatedly.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By VultureTX on 8/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Definitely a copy...
By nafhan on 8/16/2010 2:48:38 PM , Rating: 5
I'm also going to add (and I think this is more important):

Free speach > Protecting random, silly corporate logos

Plus, I read somewhere else that he's been driving the car around like this for two years. I really don't get why BB is pursuing this.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By chmilz on 8/16/2010 12:46:43 PM , Rating: 5
Apple suing over pictures of any old apple was ridiculous. This is a blatant copy/paste of Best Buy's logo with "Geek" changed to "God".

Don't worry, Father. Change the logo and Best Buy shalt forgiveth your sins, you theiving douchebag.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Ratinator on 8/16/2010 12:59:38 PM , Rating: 3
Me thinks he just violated the 8th commandment.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Mitch101 on 8/16/2010 1:13:43 PM , Rating: 4
Do Not Steal?

I think you mean #13 Though shalt not copy someoneth elses logo for personal or spiritual gain especially the messiah Steve Jobs Apple.

If you watch Mel Brooks history of the world part 1 its right there before Moses dropped it.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Ratinator on 8/16/2010 4:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
That movie and that part especially was hillarious.

"The Lord Jehovah has given unto you these fifteen..." (whereupon he drops one of the tablets, which promptly shatters) "Oy...Ten! Ten Commandments! For all to obey!"


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Mitch101 on 8/16/2010 6:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
Im going to have to pick up the HD version of this movie I am curious if one can read the 3rd tablet before he drops it. Curiosity in me wants to know what they put on it if anything.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/16/2010 6:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
I downloaded it for free, thank goodness. I love Mel Brooks, but History of the World Part 1 was really REALLY bad. Maybe it picks up more later, but after the first 30 minutes or so I just had to turn it off. It's a bunch of skits, not a movie. Which is fine, but Monty Python is who I watch when I want a bunch of skits. Mel Brooks can't one-up them at their own game.

It's the same Mel Brooks, but for some reason the "magic" he had with Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs just wasn't there. Just my opinion /shrug.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Helbore on 8/16/2010 1:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
Why does Best Buy care, though?

Is the church a direct business competitor to best Buy? No.

IS the church profiteering off the Best Buy logo? No.

Instead of suing a priest (bad publicity, ahoy there!) they should be thanking him for the free advertising. Some legal departments just don't have a clue.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Donkeyshins on 8/16/2010 1:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
If I were the owners of Best Buy, I wouldn't want any association with the Catholic Church given revelations (pun intended) about their policy vis a vis pedophile priests.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By allometry on 8/16/2010 1:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe it would be in Best Buy's interest to say what you just said an potentially alienate 22% of the American populous.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_in_th...


RE: Definitely a copy...
By nshoe on 8/17/2010 2:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
Why does Best Buy care? Trademark dilution.

Unlike Copyrights and Patents, Trademarks can be lost if you don't bother to protect them - which can lead to shareholder lawsuits for not protecting company assets - which is why corporate trademark holders tend to be a little rabid where trademark protection comes up.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By knutjb on 8/17/2010 3:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unlike Copyrights and Patents, Trademarks can be lost if you don't bother to protect them
Just ask Ford when the bean counters failed to protect GT40, Cobra, and a few others.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Hexus on 8/16/2010 5:57:19 PM , Rating: 1
I think this falls under the Fair Use policy of Right of Parody. But again that's arguable in a court.

I think most would call the logo a parody if anything, a parody that this man is making no profit from, and isn't doing any damage by using.

Useless corporate politics and your ill chosen words.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By frobizzle on 8/18/2010 12:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
News Update

Best Buy has sent a cease and desist letter to the State of Utah, Department of Corrections for using the term "Firing Squad" when executing prisoners.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By Spivonious on 8/16/2010 1:28:55 PM , Rating: 3
A copy yes, but unless this priest is selling tech support, Best Buy has no case. A trademark is only valid within your industry.

If I wanted to call my guitar store "Starbucks", I can. I just can't sell any coffee products.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By bodar on 8/16/2010 9:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Trademark attorney Michael G. Atkins of Seattle said legal parodies of commercial trademarks are protected under the First Amendment, but such religious products generally don't fall into that category. "You could take Microsoft and change their logo around to make fun of Microsoft, and that would be legal," he said. "But I can't use the Microsoft logo to promote my Christian theme because there's no real connection there. That's illegal."


http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/business/stor...

This priest may not have too strong a case if the law agrees with this attorney's interpretation. Basically, companies just don't press the issue because they don't want the obvious bad PR.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By stimudent on 8/16/2010 1:32:57 PM , Rating: 2
Religious parasites also ripped off the 'Got Milk' slogan from the dairy industry with their 'Got Jesus'.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By FITCamaro on 8/16/2010 1:38:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not going to argue that he ripped off their logo. Spinvious already talked about the trademark issue though.

But either way, in the end, should they care? Is the priest in any way hurting their business or causing confusion in the market as is so many times brought up?

No. I think Best Buy is only hurting themselves here.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By iNGEN2 on 8/17/2010 6:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
The purpose of a trademark is to uniquely identify a non-person entity or an entity's agent. There is only one thing relevant to a trademark. Would a common person on the street mistakenly believe the icon represents the plaintiff. If the answer is yes, then the trademark has been infringed. If no, then no infringement has occurred.

Can anyone here honestly say, "When I saw that priest get out of the GodSquad car I thought, 'Gee my computer must be in much worse shape than I realized'."

It seems in recent years corporate image has become the commercial world's version of personal injury law.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By iNGEN2 on 8/17/2010 6:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
Remember, you can actually use the exact same logo as another company if it has not been copyrighted, even if it has been trademarked. As long as your use of the logo could not cause reasonably confusion of your company and the other.

For example, I could use the image of the Nike swoosh as the logo for my frozen fish company. I can even name it "Nike Fish". While the use of "Nike" is, I presume, copyrighted and I would likely be committing copyright infringement, no person could think that the same company that makes athletic footwear and apparel is the same company delivering frozen fish to the grocery store.

Since BestBuy's claim is one of trademark, I find it highly unlikely this will bear out. Then again, the courts these days seem to abandon reason with, well, abandon.


RE: Definitely a copy...
By omega356 on 8/22/2010 11:28:17 AM , Rating: 2
Ive never been a fan of "Geek Squad," and this is just a new low for them. Come on guys you have nothing better to do. This is one guy. He is not running around fixing computer in people homes. Concentrate on the Quality of your business and leave the guy alone.


owning a trademark
By paydirt on 8/16/2010 1:00:52 PM , Rating: 3
owning a trademark without making a point of defending it does subject you to the risk of not being able to defend it when it really matters, right?




RE: owning a trademark
By ppardee on 8/16/2010 1:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC from my trademarks/copyrights/patents class, you're right. The real question is do they have a valid case? I would imagine this would qualify as Fair Use.

The purpose of the trademark is to ensure that the company can maintain its reputation with consumers. A restaurant can't call itself McDonald's if it is not a registered franchise. This would damage McDonald's and also the consumer (since they were expecting a different product).

The priest isn't competitor, the logo isn't likely to cause brand confusion, but the courts have a tendency to side with the owner of the trademark in even the most ridiculous cases, like with White vs Samsung.


RE: owning a trademark
By dlapham on 8/16/2010 1:35:10 PM , Rating: 3
Darn, I hope they don't find out about my church McDonald road.


RE: owning a trademark
By knutjb on 8/16/2010 5:06:47 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know about the rest of you but I remember hearing the term "God Squad" long before I ever heard of "Best Buy," let alone "Geek Squad."

The logo and the car are kind a pushing it but at the expense of bad publicity what were the bozos at BB smoking? Does BB really think this is a good idea... The only confusion I see here belongs to BB and the goof squad.


RE: owning a trademark
By maverick85wd on 8/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: owning a trademark
By Suntan on 8/16/10, Rating: -1
RE: owning a trademark
By nolisi on 8/17/2010 11:56:01 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Heaven forbid a priest try to make Christianity a little more accessible with a bit of humor and/or tongue-in-cheek advertising. But there are a fair number of intolerant (to things like religion) liberals there in Richfield, MN. I wouldn’t doubt it that he was served because he was a man of religion as much as anything else.


While I highly approve your use of irony in that statement ("Heaven forbid a priest"), I do disapprove of your blind bias toward anything liberal. Liberals did not serve him a lawsuit, a corporation did. In case you aren't aware, large scale corporate interests are usually on the conservative side. And we're talking about Best Buy, a company who, as recently as this year, donated money to conservative causes.

But nice try trying to pin everything under the sun on liberals.


RE: owning a trademark
By Suntan on 8/17/2010 1:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
A person can have “conservative” ideals to things like business while having “liberal” ideals to things like religion. That is why I stated it as I did.

I work a couple blocks from the BB headquarters. I’m just making a comment based on my opinion of the people that live in the area. I’m not making a comment based on all liberals and all conservatives the world over.

-Suntan


RE: owning a trademark
By iNGEN2 on 8/17/2010 6:58:08 PM , Rating: 2
Historically, the courts have said that the parts/uses of your trademark you find unobjectionable define fair use. It actually sounds like a good way to establish the integrity of a trademark, but unfortunately it encourages companies to sue everybody.


He should remove the sticker
By corduroygt on 8/16/2010 2:41:31 PM , Rating: 5
He wouldn't want the religion he's trying to popularize to be associated with them

I mean would you go to a church that provides overpriced services administered by incompetents who don't care about you?




By IcePickFreak on 8/16/2010 3:41:15 PM , Rating: 3
Oh the irony.


RE: He should remove the sticker
By erple2 on 8/18/2010 8:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know. What's your soul worth to you?


Good...
By Noya on 8/16/2010 4:18:14 PM , Rating: 1
I despise religion and Best Buy.

This just shows that church freaks think they should get special rights AND the greed of a big corporation.




RE: Good...
By Quadrillity on 8/16/2010 4:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
Church freaks?

I have a serious problem with people like you. All you can do is go around bashing everything that you don't agree with. I'm sure you are probably a racist too...


RE: Good...
By Major HooHaa on 8/20/2010 1:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
The God Squad? Sounds like some religious crime fighting unit.
To Quote Monty Python "It's the Bishop!"

You Tube: Monty Python, The Bishop.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDnE-5lD7w8


RE: Good...
By Zoridon on 8/17/2010 3:08:35 AM , Rating: 2
Hey thats a good one. I notice church freak is thrown around as a blanket statement by those that hate religion or a particular religion. I think I'll steal your trademark and call you a "Godless Freak" Now we have a level playing field. For now on if you have anything negative to say about religion no matter who you are your a "Godless Freak". How does the broad brush treatment feel freak?


RE: Good...
By mindless1 on 8/17/2010 12:15:04 PM , Rating: 2
What if, instead of stooping to his/her level, we pity the anti-social miscreant for causing his/her own unhappiness?


Maybe I'm missing something?
By Type1fan on 8/16/2010 2:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
I am definitely not for Best Buy or any religion but it seems to me that this priest is basically stealing a trademarked logo from a known source? It seems that the basic fundamental premise, aside from ANY legal implications, is that people are saying it's o.k. for a priest to steal. Even if Best Buy isn't in any sort of competition with this person, I would think that they should have the right to protect their trademarks...........




RE: Maybe I'm missing something?
By SPOOFE on 8/16/2010 2:31:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
people are saying it's o.k. for a priest to steal.

No; people are saying it's o.k. for anyone to parody a trademark.

quote:
I would think that they should have the right to protect their trademarks

They actually have a responsibility to protect their trademarks; however, parody is considered to not be a misappropriation of their trademarks.


RE: Maybe I'm missing something?
By nshoe on 8/17/2010 2:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
However parody is not as well protected in trademarks as it is in copyright. If the courts think there is a reasonable possibility that people will be confused into thinking that the trademark holder is endorsing the parody then they can be found in violation of the trademark, parody or not. (For example, the lawsuit by Mutual Of Omaha against the maker of "Mutant of Omaha" t-shirts...)


As a Best buy employee....
By rudolphna on 8/16/2010 5:41:29 PM , Rating: 2
It is my personal opinion that the company I work for has every right to defend it's intellectual property. Anyone with half a brain would see that car and first thought would probably be "Best Buy". While it is in no way that I can see harming the company, or us individual employees, he is clearly ripping off the Geek Squad. Is he a competitor? No. Is he using a little-modified TRADEMARKED LOGO without permission? Yes. THAT is what is important. The fact that it is a registered trademark being used without permission.

If you had a patent and someone changed the color and changed half of the name and declared it a different product, while still utilizing the same design and operational characteristics.... You'd be ticked off, wouldn't you?

Just my 2c




RE: As a Best buy employee....
By tmouse on 8/17/2010 9:00:29 AM , Rating: 2
A patent is an entirely different beast. A trademarks purpose is to offer the holder some identity protection in their own market. In this case the markets are totally different. No one in their right mind would confuse the two. Best buy really has no case to show any dilution of trademark or economic distress. There are differences in the color scheme with only the make of the car and the logo having some similarities. I do not see how BB can show any economic loss or dilution in this case and nationwide it will hurt them to be seen picking on a lone priest, it will not be the catholic church vs. Best Buy it will be a corporation picking on a single guy. I really hope Best buy loses between copyrights, patents and trademarks being so widely protected pretty soon no one will be able to think, talk or write without touching on someone else’s IP rights. A little protection is necessary but we are going down entirely new venues of stupid in our interpretations of scope. As an aside does anyone actually use their overpriced crappy service, I guess so.


RE: As a Best buy employee....
By mindless1 on 8/17/2010 12:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
Suing someone that is not devaluing your brand, not taking away from your profits, nor harming you in any way is NOT DEFENDING.

That's called offense. Sane people don't go around suing others just because they are "ticked off".

Changed half the name? Far as I can see, Best Buy is not the first group to use a two-word description in which the 2nd word was "squad", THEY are the ones who copied other people's ideas, babes are not born knowing the word "squad"... nor "geek" for that matter.


Love the...
By stapleton87 on 8/16/2010 12:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
Clerical collar on the hood.




Don't get BB's position
By allometry on 8/16/2010 1:17:04 PM , Rating: 2
I can understand protecting your trademarks, but why not use a little bit of discretion when picking your targets.




Guess who's going to hell...
By ChugokuOtaku on 8/16/2010 1:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
c'mon... give the guy a break
he's only trying to sell a religion...




This is a win-win
By DukeN on 8/16/2010 1:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
Either Geek Squad loses, or religious nutjob is forced to do some re-branding work.

Not sure who to root for.




Aw man!
By Homerboy on 8/16/2010 1:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
I posted this a few days ago in ATOT:
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=20977...




This reminds me...
By Newspapercrane on 8/16/2010 4:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
This reminds me of those shirts that some Christians wear around here. It's not uncommon to see someone with a shirt that at first glance it looks like the logo of sprite, but instead it says "Refreshing Holy Spirit" or something like that. Wouldn't this fall under the same category of that? Admittedly it is very similar to the geek squad logo and it is on a VW beetle, but can they really copyright the fact that they use a VW beetle as their primary vehicle? It's not like they own any specific patents or copyrights on the car. I think that's what this really boils down to.




parody
By Murloc on 8/16/2010 6:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
it's obviously a parody, and anyway the priest doesn't get any profit out of it. This would be wrong, because he would be using the trademark's popularity to make more money. But a priest just takes his wage from the church organization.




Give him a break
By littvay on 8/17/2010 3:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, Jesus Christ. It is a fun little joke by one individual private person. Have some class. Be flattered. Give the guy a break. Will apple come after me for putting an apple sticker they gave me on my Dell netbook? Once again, be flattered. Cut us some slack.

For full disclosure, I am an atheist.




bestbuy has a case
By xxsk8er101xx on 8/17/2010 5:35:59 PM , Rating: 2
The trademark is about the look and feel of the product. The product, the name, it all looks very similar to geek squad.

The car, the logo, and even the name. They have a very good case and I will bet geek squad wins this case.




Seriously?
By morphologia on 8/20/2010 3:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
Considering the extent of the rip-off, there's no way this was anything but a deliberate effort to capitalize on someone else's intellectual property. Not to mention that this goofy venture takes the whole "making religion more approachable and relatable" gimmick a bit too far. What's next, a social networking site called GodBook or MyChrist? A touchscreen smartphone decked out in crosses called the J-Phone? A reality TV show called "The Celibate Bachelor?"




over zealous lawyers
By zmatt on 8/21/2010 5:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think this falls firmly within a parody. He isn't making money off of it and while it's obvious that it was derived from the geek squad logo it was used in a manner that isn't harmful. I would say however that with best Buy suing him it really hurts their image. if Weird Al can SELL albums consisting of nothing but parodies with no legal recourse then I think this isn't that big of a deal.




Just goes to show...
By jeff834 on 8/16/2010 2:33:16 PM , Rating: 1
that the only truly original thing ever created by religion was god, and even he/she/it has been copied so many times it's practically completely faded away.




By SofaKingWeird on 8/17/2010 8:42:09 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, at first when I read this I was pissed at Bestbuy for even thinking this was the same. But then I remembered, isn't Bestbuy the same company that let an employee go for putting up a video mocking iPhone vs EVO phone users. He never even mentioned where he works or even makes fun of Bestbuy in the cartoon. So for me I already dislike Bestbuy, they are a bunch of capitalist pigs with way too much power and someday the tick of Karma will swing there way only to make room for the next replacement. I’m still irritated that Bestbuy has driven all the competition away, but when you want to find some music (Some of us still prefer CD’s over digital downloads) they don’t carry it in store but would be happy to ship it for a nominal fee. Case in point was the new “Playing For Change – LIVE” I ended up going to Barnes and Noble because Bestbuy is too lame to carry the CD in there retail stores. I keep hearing about how CD sales are down, but I think it’s because of lousy marketing by capitalist pigs like Bestbuy. When you rely on stupid retailers for your income this is what you get. Bring back music retail stores like Tower Records already, because I for one prefer CD’s over digital downloads.

Then there is a part of me that chuckled when I was first read this, then the word KARMA popped into my head. Wow, could God and Bestbuy be in communication? Could they be planning a swift kick in the a$$ to those who have paid out millions and hidden the kiddie diddlers from prosecution of the laws that protect children? You have to wonder how many millions were spent hiding these pedophiles? Just think of all the things you could do with millions, like actually feeding hungry homeless people or other Godly type activities. Part of me snickers at just the thought of that, but then that bring up so many more questions. What are the communicating with? iPhone, Droid or is it a Mac and PC thing. I guess for me I really don’t care for either one but there is a part of me that actually hopes the Catholic priest wins this one. Unless - 1) Bestbuy has the exclusive with VW and they’re the only one that can buy the Bug now. 2) Bestbuy owns the font that was used. 3) Bestbuy owns the word Sqaud. (WOW, can you imagine the impact on NFL Football if they could no longer say practice squad?)

So the only real winner here I see are the lawyers. They’ll be laughing all the way to the bank, only in America will you see Bestbuy VS God. Coming to a court near you.




I agree with best buy
By Wiggy Mcshades on 8/16/10, Rating: -1
RE: I agree with best buy
By Quadrillity on 8/16/2010 1:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you also think that all white people are inherently rich, smart, and snobby right? Or that all blacks like friend chicken and watermelon? All mexicans are here illegally?

Stereotype much?


RE: I agree with best buy
By Wiggy Mcshades on 8/16/10, Rating: -1
RE: I agree with best buy
By Quadrillity on 8/16/2010 1:46:02 PM , Rating: 1
So can you not see your blatant bigotry?


RE: I agree with best buy
By dark matter on 8/16/2010 1:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
I can picture you on a bus in the 1930's....


“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki