Thursday, August 09, 2007

Who's the bad guy here?

Another day, another post. I'm obvously trying to quickly break us out of the blogging slump we were in...

So, in today's Wall Street Journal, an article states that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is suing the Red Cross for trademark infringement (WSJ Article Link). Apparently, J&J owns the trademark of a greek red cross in conncection with health care services. J&J had licensed the cross mark to the Red Cross & the Red Cross apparently licensed the mark to other companies, making a profit on their own licenses.

Although I'm tempted to jump on the side of J&J, I won't. J&J's argument is that trademark holders have a right to enforce their marks, and the Red Cross knew the cross mark was not their mark, yet they licnesed the mark out to others. However, the Red Cross may counter with an argument that a trademark holder who fails to enforce their mark may allow dilution of the mark or the mark may become "generic", and and the traademark holder may lose the right to enforce the mark. I think something like that is what's happened to J&J here. I don't know about you, but I've always associated the red cross mark with the Red Cross or healthcare services in general and not J&J. It will be interesting to see what the courts decide, but my guess is J&J loses.

The point? Enforce your marks early and often. That is all.



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