RWJF(Johnson & Johnson) sues Red Cross-and they deserve each other

Although I despise the Red Cross, I hate Johnson & Johnson, parent of RWJF, even more, so I don't really know how I feel on this one, other than it's really weird-I mean, isn't it a bit late for them to be suing? how many years has the RC used this?

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WinstonSmith Posted Sun August 12 2007 02:59 AM
The pure-hearted do-gooders at Johnson & Johnson (founded by Robert Wood Johnson) have sued The Red Cross over the use of, get this, the red cross.

http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article2851498.ece

Johnson & Johnson is courting a public relations disaster with a high-profile lawsuit against the American Red Cross, one of the world's most recognisable charities - claiming the Red Cross logo is its own trademark.

The Red Cross immediately attacked the lawsuit as "obscene", saying that the two organisations have co-existed peacefully for over a century, sharing use of the red cross on a white background, which has grown to become an international symbol of aid and disaster relief.

Johnson & Johnson, though, says that the Red Cross has stepped out of its traditional use of the logo and has launched products such as first aid kits, nail clippers, combs and toothbrushes that directly compete with J&J's own products.

Johnson & Johnson's operations span consumer products such as Band Aids and the Tylenol painkiller, to prescription medicines and advanced surgical devices. It had sales of $53bn (26bn) last year, and made a profit of $11bn.

The Red Cross says it has licensed its name to first aid kit makers because it is trying to encourage Americans to be prepared for disasters, and that it reinvests the revenues from its products in humanitarian work.

"For a multi-billion dollar drug company to claim that the Red Cross violated a criminal statute that was created to protect the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross - simply so that J&J can make more money - is obscene," said Mark Everson, the chief executive of the charity. He said the organisation's lawyers disputed J&J's claims. In its lawsuit filed in a New York court, J&J said it has for more than 100 years "owned exclusive trademark rights in the Red Cross design for first aid and wound care products sold to the consuming public".

It said the founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton, signed a deal with J&J in 1895 agreeing and acknowledging the company's "exclusive use of a red cross as a trademark and otherwise for chemical, surgical, pharmaceutical goods of every description".

In a recognition that suing a high-profile charity could spiral into a public relations disaster, Johnson & Johnson announced its legal action in a statement that insisted it has "great respect for the relief work of the American Red Cross and over the decades has consistently supported the organisation through cash donations, product donations and employee volunteering".

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It's all right here:
Johnson & Johnson, though, says that the Red Cross has stepped out of its traditional use of the logo and has launched products such as first aid kits, nail clippers, combs and toothbrushes that directly compete with J&J's own products.

The original agreement allowed the Red Cross to use the symbol only for it's humanitarian aid efforts. J&J has the obligation to protect it's trademark, less it be lost. It may be a PR disaster, but to allow competing products to use your exclusive trademark is a business nightmare.

...condoms, anyone? "X" marks the spot.

Old South End Broadway

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