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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.

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RE: owning a trademark
By maverick85wd on 8/16/2010 1:30:32 PM , Rating: 0
not when the alleged "violation" has A) no monetary gain and B) involves a service not related (meaning they aren't competing for the same business) to the one which utilizes the logo in question.

And besides that, a priest? You're going to sue a priest that was trying to stimulate interest in religion? GTFO. I'm not a creationist or even believe in Christianity (or any religion I've seen to this point for that matter), but I do respect all the major religions as man's attempt to maximize happiness in the short time we have in life. And for some people that can't figure it out for themselves, religion can make life better.

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
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.


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