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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: 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.


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