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Geek Squad Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter To God Squad

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the who-would-jesus-sue dept.

Businesses 357

An anonymous reader writes "A Wisconsin priest has God on his car but Best Buy's lawyers on his back. Father Luke Strand at the Holy Family Parish in Fond Du Lac says he has received a cease-and-desist letter from the electronics retailer. From the article: 'At issue is Strand's black Volkswagen Beetle with door stickers bearing the name "God Squad" in a logo similar to that of Best Buy's Geek Squad, a group of electronics troubleshooters. Strand told the Fond du Lac Reporter that the car is a creative way to spur discussion and bring his faith to others. Best Buy Co. tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it appreciates what Strand is trying to do, but it's bad precedent to let groups violate its trademarks.'"

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357 comments

Logo (3, Informative)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263204)

http://www.i4u.com/37852/omg-geek-squad-wants-sue-priest [i4u.com] The priests logo. And we all know what Geek Squad logo looks like.

Re:Logo (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263248)

And we all know what Geek Squad logo looks like.

I was just going to post the same thing. Looking through 12 pages of "geek squad" images, I don't see any images that Best Buy uses that could be confused with this one.

Re:Logo (2, Informative)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263386)

The Geek Squad colors are reversed. Orange up top black on bottom. I can see how this would be infringing.

Re:Logo (5, Funny)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263578)

The Geek Squad colors are reversed. Orange up top black on bottom.

Does that mean that Geek Squad is Satanic?

Re:Logo (3, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263808)

No, Best Buy isn't mad eup of Satanists. They appreciate what he's trying to do.

Best Buy Co. tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it appreciates what Strand is trying to do, but it's bad precedent to let groups violate its trademarks.

That just gives me yet another reason to not shop at Best Buy. Never mind they annoying and idiotic employees, they appreciate evangelists!

Re:Logo (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263886)

Was there every any doubt?

Orange and Black? (1)

number6x (626555) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263606)

Aren't those the colors of Halloween? Most American religious folk confuse Halloween with some kind of Satan worship (instead of the religious holiday All Hallow's eve, or the older Celtic Fall holiday).

Re:Orange and Black? (2, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263658)

(instead of the religious holiday All Hallow's eve, or the older Celtic Fall holiday).

Exactly, satan worship. Heathen.

Re:Logo (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263772)

I was just going to post the same thing. Looking through 12 pages of "geek squad" images, I don't see any images that Best Buy uses that could be confused with this one.

I hope that's sarcasm, there's plenty of similarity between the "God Squad" logo they used on their Beetle and the "Geek Squad" logos on their Beetles, changing the letters in one word makes it a pretty simple case of trademark rip-off.

I think it's easy to tell the difference just by reading the top word, but Best Buy can't afford to allow an unauthorized entity to reappropriate their trademark.

Re:Logo (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263818)

I should add to this that there is probably an exemption for parody, it would be a stretch to call this a parody use.

Re:Logo (2, Insightful)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263880)

I believe there is also an exception to a different line of business. It would be quite a stretch to say this religious man is any way trying to claim to work on breaking computers. Just as Apple Records was unable to win out against Apple Computers because Apple Computers was not in the music business, Best Buy is in the overcharging and breaking computers business, and this guy is in the religious business. Unless Best Buy is looking at expanding into religion...God help us all...

Re:Logo (3, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263904)

Hold on a second, doesn't the type of service being offered play a factor as well? Unless this pastor offers a service where he comes into your home, searches for porn images on your computer, and then passes those images around to his buddies, I don't think there's a case for infringement here.

Re:Logo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263310)

FTA:

Okay, here's an interesting question for you. You're Best Buy, and you see a priest with a Volkswagen Beetle and a "God Squad" logo that looks pretty much just like a Geek Squad car. What do you do?

Answer: you sue the priest, and get ready for a big backlash. After all, what good can ever come of a big corporate behemoth slapping a lawsuit against someone who's just trying to spread the good word?

Seriously? "big backlash", "the good word"? Is this a tech blog you linked to? If I were Best Buy, I'd do the same if some moron was using my look for their fear mongering.

Re:Logo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263524)

FTA:

Okay, here's an interesting question for you. You're Best Buy, and you see a priest with a Volkswagen Beetle and a "God Squad" logo that looks pretty much just like a Geek Squad car. What do you do?

Answer: you sue the priest, and get ready for a big backlash. After all, what good can ever come of a big corporate behemoth slapping a lawsuit against someone who's just trying to spread the good word?

Seriously? "big backlash", "the good word"? Is this a tech blog you linked to? If I were Best Buy, I'd do the same if some moron was using my look for their fear mongering.

Grow the fuck up already. Stop it with the hate mongering. You just cannot stand the idea that you are not center of the universe and that you are not in full control of your destiny. I suggest that you get some help Mr. Atheist because you seem inordinately preoccupied with a god that you allegedly do not believe in and the followers of said god. Why don't you just admit to yourself that you are a deluded satanist already and that you are a willing puppet of the anti-christ. It's not too late to give up your inflated ego and allow god to redeem you. Life is worth living when you live it to help others rather than your own personal gain.

Look around you. This most recent economic crisis should teach you that the pursuit of money is a foolish exercise and that true wealth comes from friends and family. It is the only real wealth that you can bring with you into the afterlife.

Re:Logo (0, Troll)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263688)

You just cannot stand the idea that you are not center of the universe and that you are not in full control of your destiny. I suggest that you get some help Mr. Atheist because you seem inordinately preoccupied with a god that you allegedly do not believe in and the followers of said god.

Well said. It seems that atheists are awfully concerned about the God of the Universe these days.

Re:Logo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263864)

OK, that's a bit over the top. If a theist can proselytize, so can an atheist. Give that a rest. No need to call each other stupid. But certainly evangelists can exist on both sides of the scale. Others, like me, just get fed up with anyone who wants to convert me to anything (be it theism or anti-theism). I think all folks should just shut the hell up and believe what they want to believe and leave everyone else alone. However, the protagonist in this story is obviously out there proselytizing so it isn't too over the top to expect folks from the other side of the spectrum to do the same.

We really don't need any of the
"neener, neener, you have an invisible friend"
vs.
"you are an evil satanist"
drivel here.

Re:Logo (0)

psbrogna (611644) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263660)

It's only fear mongering if somebody is afraid. Are your own beliefs that shaky that you actually give a crap what this guy does? I suggest a whit of tolerance my friend. This is solely a copyright or trademark issue; it doesn't matter whether he's selling iced cream or evangelizing Linux out of his Bug.

Re:Logo (1)

eastlight_jim (1070084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263354)

No we don't... Geek squad car [geeksquad.com] . It is basically the same, isn't it?

Simple solution for these cases (5, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263384)

I know that legally companies have to enforce trademarks or risk losing them. However, for a case like this where there is no actual damage to their business and no real risk of confusion, the best solution from a PR perspective would be to offer a royalty-free license to the trademark and its variant to the person in question.

You know, instead of the traditional "cease-and-desist" letter, you could send a "we notice you borrowed from our logo - we are required to contact you by trademark law, and we will offer you a royalty-free license for this use, in a limited context, if you get in touch with us".

That would completely avoid the nasty press these companies for doing this, and keep the trademark lawyers happily occupied.

Why can't we live in the kind of more civil society where we look for positive solutions to problems in this way instead of simply defaulting to the negative?

Re:Simple solution for these cases (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263496)

In theory, maybe that would be a good idea, but in practice it's walking into dangerous territory. First off, it could be seen as endorsement of this guys message, and corporations generally try to avoid religious endorsements since it puts them at odds with all other religions. This gets especially tricky if then other religions start to ask for the same treatment. What if an Islamist group wants to do the same thing? If Best Buy says no, they piss off 1.4 billion Muslims, and also look discriminatory. If they say yes, they piss off a nation full of fear mongerers and bigots who accuse them of terrorism. There's a million other ways that could go poorly, Best Buy really has no choice but to put a stop to this.

Re:Simple solution for these cases (1)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263704)

It could, but the bad PR from this thing could be plenty bad. I would rather do what the parent post stated than go after a priest for trademark infringement on something which isn't making him a penny.

Re:Simple solution for these cases (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263794)

Are you saying that Father Strand is acting in...bad faith ;)?

*Puts on his shades*

Re:Simple solution for these cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263826)

They don't seem to worried about perception when donating to minnesota gubernatorial races.

story [go.com]

Re:Simple solution for these cases (1)

spamuell (1208984) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263828)

What if an Islamist group wants to do the same thing? If Best Buy says no, they piss off 1.4 billion Muslims, and also look discriminatory.

Islam [wikipedia.org] and Islamism [wikipedia.org] are not the same thing. One is religious, the other political. You mean Islamic.

Re:Simple solution for these cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263604)

fuck that. best buy can go pound sand. from a design point of view, there not even close.

Re:Simple solution for these cases (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263714)

because civility has no place in a world with lawyers.

Re:Simple solution for these cases (4, Insightful)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263800)

If it were only one time it might be ok, but religious groups seem to think themselves exempt from trademark and copyright law.

There are lots of stories of religious groups copying whatever they like to put religious propaganda on them. I remember when the lord of the rings came out, one group took the movie poster, replaced "Ring" with "King" and replaced Gandalph with Jesus. Now you may say that's just parody, but I don't really buy it when the point is to promote a religious message, not poking fun of the original.

Re:Logo (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263388)

Why not sue Slashdot, it is owned by Geeknet.

Re:Logo (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263446)

This really has nothing to do with the word Geek or the word Squad for that matter. If you look at the car the church made up and then look at a photo of a Geek Squad car you can see the unmistakable resemblance. In fact, I'd dare say a pretty blatant copy with a few details changed to fit the church. Now if Taco get a VW Beetle, paints it with GeekSquad colors and then sticks on a logo that is _very_ close to the trademarked one, then yes, Taco will get a C&D too.

Re:Logo (-1, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263448)

BestBuy views priests as competing for the same age group of young boys. "Hmm... Geek Squad 'tard or anal rape recipient."

Re:Logo (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263690)

Tough choice.

This just proves (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263222)

That Geeks > God. At least in their minds...

Re:This just proves (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263274)

I could understand if this were a revival of ancient religions.

Greek God Squad.

Of course, you would be hard pressed to find a geek that met the physical standards applied to any greek god.

Well, other than Hephaestus, the first Geek.

Re:This just proves (1)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263850)

Dionysus

Re:This just proves (3, Insightful)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263380)

No, it proves that geeks aren't running Geek Squad.

Obviously overzealous (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263226)

The lawyers are just being overzealous in this case.

God and Geek are not easily confused.

Squad is generic.

And the story, is inappropriately tagged with copyright when this is a trademark issue.

Re:Obviously overzealous (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263336)

The logo on the side of the Beetle is pretty close, IMHO. I don't think it's overzealous. It's pretty blatant.

Re:Obviously overzealous (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263636)

Serves me right for basing my justification based on the summary, especially when part of my post complained that there were errors in that exact summary.

Re:Obviously overzealous (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263638)

The logo on the side of the Beetle is pretty close, IMHO. I don't think it's overzealous. It's pretty blatant.

So is it your opinion that confused customers will be contacting the 'God Squad' for help with their computers?

Re:Obviously overzealous (2, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263340)

They are not being necessarily being overzealous. In the US, trademarks MUST be defended to be valid. If they failed to defend against this possible trademark issue, then the next guy that does a geek squad look alike can point to this case to strengthen his case that the trademark has become generic.

Re:Obviously overzealous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263432)

However, they're not in the same industry, and there's not much chance of Geek Squad's [potential] customers mistaking the one for the other, which is part of a successful claim.

Re:Obviously overzealous (3, Funny)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263550)

There's more overlap than you may think. Geek Squad caters to many Windows users. Anyone on Slashdot running Windows knows that prayers are a big part of it continuing to work on a day to day basis.

Re:Obviously overzealous (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263644)

REPENT YOU SINNERS!

Re:Obviously overzealous (2, Insightful)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263572)

Trademarks aren't enforced on a word-by-word basis. The issue would be the similarity of the logo as a whole.

The trademark claim may be invalid since the priest is not selling electronics or technical support, and presumably isn't using it in a commercial context at all. On the other hand, I'm not sure you could rule out a claim of dillution.

Re:Obviously overzealous (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263616)

> I'm not sure you could rule out a claim of dillution.

Dilution seems to require either commercial use or tarnishment.

Re:Obviously overzealous (2, Funny)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263774)

God and Geek are not easily confused.

Only if your sysadmin isn't doing his job properly.

Parody? (2, Interesting)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263230)

Can't he claim this is a parody of Geek Squad cars? IANAL so I dunno how this works.

Re:Parody? (5, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263518)

Nah, doesn't apply because it's not ironic, and it's not targeted at the Geek Squad.

If you did a car that looked like the geek squad car, with a logo that was the same except it said, "Week Squad" and ran around fixing peoples computers with a sledgehammer, and filming it...THAT would be parody.

Or in this case, if these people ran around praying over peoples computers and did it specifically to make fun of the Geek Squad, that would be legit.

Having the same logo on a legitimate enterprise isn't protected by parody/freedom of expression laws.

Re:Parody? (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263536)

I'd suggest that he remove the image and claim the higher moral ground.

Is this really something he wants to go into battle over?!? I'm sure he has better things to do.

Re:Parody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263666)

From a bunch of guys who are lawyers:

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm

7. What constitutes trademark infringement?

If a party owns the rights to a particular trademark, that party can sue subsequent parties for trademark infringement. 15 U.S.C. 1114, 1125. The standard is "likelihood of confusion." To be more specific, the use of a trademark in connection with the sale of a good constitutes infringement if it is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of those goods or as to the sponsorship or approval of such goods. In deciding whether consumers are likely to be confused, the courts will typically look to a number of factors, including: (1) the strength of the mark; (2) the proximity of the goods; (3) the similarity of the marks; (4) evidence of actual confusion; (5) the similarity of marketing channels used; (6) the degree of caution exercised by the typical purchaser; (7) the defendant's intent. Polaroid Corp. v. Polarad Elect. Corp., 287 F.2d 492 (2d Cir.), cert. denied, 368 U.S. 820 (1961).

Re:Parody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263840)

He can't claim it's a parody. Geek Squad is already a joke.

Ugh (5, Insightful)

jschmitz (607083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263252)

I don't know which "squad" is more f____g annoying.............

Trademark (1)

maotx (765127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263268)

If the priest was performing services similar to Best Buy's I could see this being valid, but considering the context is a completely different field, wouldn't this just be thrown out? Or am I confusing trademark with something else?

Re:Trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263352)

It's not about the name, it's about the image. He even used the same fonts.

Re:Trademark (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263376)

I don't think it matters if they offer different services. It would be the same as someone opening a seafood restaurant called Walleye-mart.

Re:Trademark (2, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263580)

I don't think it matters if they offer different services.

It matters a great deal.

It would be the same as someone opening a seafood restaurant called Walleye-mart.

That might be grounds for a dilution claim depending on details since it would be being used to advertise a product. This guy, however, isn't selling anything.

Re:Trademark (4, Informative)

maotx (765127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263474)

Found out a little bit more. Unless you're going to confuse God Squad for Geek Squad, this doesn't appear to have a leg to stand on.
From 1114. Remedies; infringement; innocent infringement by printers and publishers [cornell.edu] emphasis mine
  • (1) Any person who shall, without the consent of the registrant—
    (a) use in commerce any reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of a registered mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive; or
    (b) reproduce, counterfeit, copy, or colorably imitate a registered mark and apply such reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation to labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles or advertisements intended to be used in commerce upon or in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive,

Then again, IANAL

Re:Trademark (2, Funny)

wikid_one (1056810) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263612)

I'm pretty sure, if it came down to it, I'd rather call the priest to deal with my computer issues.

Re:Trademark (2, Funny)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263668)

I'm pretty sure, if it came down to it, I'd rather call the priest to deal with my computer issues.

My computer is full of daemons.

precedent how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263270)

Rather than set a precedent by allowing him to violate the trademark, how about allowing him to not violate it? Grant him official permission to use God Squad. Enforce that the copyright is theirs to do as they see fit, and in this case they could see fit to allow the exception....

Re:precedent how? (1)

easterberry (1826250) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263554)

And look like they're endorsing a religion causing backlash from other religious groups and making them look bigoted if they don't let anyone of any faith do the exact same thing (pissing of a lot of the Christians) ? Yeah, that's probably not an avenue they want to pursue.

In other news.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263276)

Best Buy lawyer struck by lightning.

unfair competition (4, Funny)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263284)

They were probably just worried that "prayer" might prove more effective than the typical geek squad employee and cut into business.

Re:unfair competition (2, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263478)

As a tech, I find that prayer is often a tool in my methodology when working with windows...

Re:unfair competition (4, Funny)

IICV (652597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263652)

Yeah, you hafta recite the Chant of Damnation* at least once every time you go through the Ritual of Restarting in order to appease the machine spirit.

Failure to do so is the leading cause of bluescreens (little known fact!)

*You know, the one that goes "Damn Windows, damn Microsoft, damn Gates...."

Re:unfair competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263708)

Indeed. Say a quick prayer and reboot and most problems are gone!

Re:unfair competition (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263718)

As a tech, I find that prayer is often a tool in my methodology when working with windows...

You must be an exception, cursing seems to be the norm... then again in Microsoft's defense it seems to be one thing uniting developers, server administrators and support people. I think it's got something to do with the computer not caring so you really can tell it what a goddamned fucked up piece of shit it is without it taking offense.

non-commercial use? (1)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263298)

Does a church qualify for non-commercial use?

Even if they're using it to proselytize / promote / market / attract paying customers / their particular flavor of god?

Selling God is big business.

Re:non-commercial use? (1)

sammysheep (537812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263476)

Church does qualify as non-commercial under U.S. tax law. But for the sake of argument here are some key differences:

A) Commercial world
- goods and services are exchanged for monetary funds
- the price is set but may fluctuate over time or with the features of the product
- refunds not uncommon
- purpose of business is to earn profit
- advertisement helps people know about products or services


B) Church
- services are given freely, donations are given freely
- the amount of money given is more dependent on the person's desire and means
- who gets a refund on a donation?
- purpose of Church is to worship God and change hearts
- advertisement helps people engage minds or open discussion on spiritual topics

Mod Squad (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263300)

Oh for crying out loud. It's more a play on the "MOD" squad than the cretins at best buy. Damn parasites.

Re:Mod Squad (2, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263468)

No, not really. Look at the logo. It's clearly based on the Geek Squad logo.

Re:Mod Squad (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263664)

Trademark is not copyright.

Re:Mod Squad (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263472)

You obviously didn't take a look at the picture of the car the church is tooling around in...

Srsly? (2, Insightful)

sammysheep (537812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263304)

If he isn't selling anything or competing with them, do they have legal grounds to make him cease and desist? I thought imitation was the highest form of flattery. Do we now outlaw spoof, satire, and creative imitation?

Also: prior art (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263408)

Referring to someone as a member of "The God Squad" has been a semi-perjorative term for someone who takes religion a little too seriously since I was a small child. As well as the fact that trademarks are limited to the area of business you practise in, you can't trademark something that is already in widespread use.

Re:Srsly? (1)

lotsotech (848683) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263484)

Are you saying a church doesn't sell anything? The guy is driving a car and is employed by the church. They had to get that money from somewhere.

There is a Fundamental Difference. (1)

sammysheep (537812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263592)

Are you saying that the American Heart Association sells research/aid to its donors? How about your favorite charity, are they selling you something? They have money, but this clearly isn't a transaction in the commercial sense. You are giving money freely for whatever "higher good" you believe in. Your immediate benefit may be incidental or non-existant. If you want to make the concept of commercial exchange equivalent to charitable donation, you may do so, but you must expand that definition to charities you like too or it's just prejudice.

Re:There is a Fundamental Difference. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263724)

Are you saying that the American Heart Association sells research/aid to its donors? How about your favorite charity, are they selling you something? They have money, but this clearly isn't a transaction in the commercial sense. You are giving money freely for whatever "higher good" you believe in. Your immediate benefit may be incidental or non-existant. If you want to make the concept of commercial exchange equivalent to charitable donation, you may do so, but you must expand that definition to charities you like too or it's just prejudice.

Church != Charity

That's irrelevant anyway. If it was a Muslim group using the logo, wouldn't you expect a complaint then? This isn't about prejudice, it's a trademark and this church-member has clearly copied both the design and style of the logo. There's a claim of trademark there, whether it's valid or not.

For an example; if you used Mlcrosoft's design, name and started asked for donations, you're saying you wouldn't expect a complaint?

Irony anyone? (1)

waddgodd (34934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263348)

As if anyone needed much further proof, basically Geek Squad is proving that they're not REALLY geeks, as geeks typically are anti-trademark-trumps-all.

Its always reformat and reboot with the God Squad (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263406)

They've turned into a bunch of fucking Buddhists.

Must Defend Trademark (2, Informative)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263430)

Geek Squad has to actively defend their trademark, otherwise they risk losing it. Looking at the FP's link [i4u.com] with a bit more information, it sounds to me like Best Buy's PR woman was hinting at an appropriate solution. I bet they find a way to make everyone happy and simply license the trademark to Father Luke for his "God Squad" use.

Trademark is not copyright. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263440)

Best Buy probably has a case against them, as the car and the logo bear a very similar aesthetic and it would be pretty difficult to argue that it was just a coincidence.

It isn't that easy. They must also convince the court that the public might be misled into believing that it is getting Best Buy's product when it is not. Their only alternative is to claim dilution which would require that it be used to advertise an unrelated product or be used in a way that would "tarnish" it by creating negative associations.

Yet another... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263466)

Company that should pay me to be their moderator of common sense.

geek squad cant win this one. even if they 'win' they'll lose thousands of religious nut customers. If not millions.

Sometimes the best thing a company can do is SHUT THE FUCK UP! Damm.. you'd think with their funds they could pay someone to tell them when to do that.

"Hey no.. this is a bad idea. it will cost us money. and will never gain us money. we are NOT doing this."

Re:Yet another... (1)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263588)

Just because it's a religious nut stealing the logo? FAIL. They should go after him as if it was just some guy running a business using their logo. Because that's exactly what it is - just some guy advertising his business using a stolen logo design. Nothing more. Let the religious lunatics wax hypocritical about persecution. It just pushes them further to the fringe and, hopefully, eventually off the edge into oblivion. This kid glove approach towards religion is archaic and needs to cease and desist, as it were.

fagorZ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263488)

philosopHies must

ABC and Mod Squad (1)

Haxzaw (1502841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263514)

Maybe ABC would like to go after Geek Squad for infringing on their show, "Mod Squad" from the late sixties/early seventies. As others have stated, God Squad is nothing like Geek Squad, in name or deed, no one will get confused. Well maybe I shouldn't say no one, there are enogh idiots around that someone may get confused, but a "reasonable person" would not.

God makes Geeks look bad (1)

pbulteel73 (559845) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263566)

ergo the Geek Squad brand would lose it's prestige. Yes, I'm being sarcastic. -P

Obligatory (2, Funny)

S3D (745318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263574)

I wonder what happen then God sends Cease-and-Desist order to Geek Squad...

By the power of certification (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263602)

I seem to recall a comic from back in the '90s whereby some geek had his hand on a broken computer and was saying outloud:

"By the power of certification I command thee..."

Similar case successfully defended (1)

AbbeyRoad (198852) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263632)

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2005-05-27-laugh-it-off-wins-case-against-sab [mg.co.za]

"T-shirt maker Laugh It Off has won its fight against South African Breweries (SAB) over its right to mock the Carling Black Label brand."

This was quite a widely publicized law suite at the time and set a legal precident.

In the US however you don't have legal precidents. *sigh*

-paul

Re:Similar case successfully defended (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263706)

If he was mocking Geek Squad, he would have a slam dunk case under U.S. law. I was going to say that he is not. However, I could make a case that even though belittling Geek Squad was not the intention of this project, there is an element of satire in this "God Squad" car (which is a defense against charges of trademark infringement in the U.S.).

A bad logo to pick (1)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263678)

It's darn ugly. You might've gotten used to it, but for me - looking into what Geek Squad is for the first time - I've got to say that logo belongs on an early 90's surfboard.
"Baywatch squad" or something.

Maybe they'd have a case if (2, Funny)

eshbums (1557147) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263748)

the priest started charging exorbitant amounts for things that a user with 30 seconds on google could figure out on their own. "$80 rosary installation - bring in your rosary, and one of our trained technicians can install it around your neck. *Removal of existing necklaces only $5 each for Reward Zone members"

Christian Oppression! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263750)

Christians will be whining about "oppression" in 5....4...3...2....

"Spur discussion" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263752)

Strand told the Fond du Lac Reporter that the car is a creative way to spur discussion and bring his faith to others.

More like the car is an example of real-life trolling. It gives him an excuse to defend his religion over criticism of the car's sticker.

Attn lawyers (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263754)

Hey lawyers do any of you even know what a trademark is anymore. Its a mark used in your trade.

YOUR TRADE.

Unless they are claiming he is using faith healing to fix computers (more effective then the geek squad yes) They have no business complaining. If I want to open up geek squad plumbing there is nothing they can do about it.

Prior usage (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263798)

The term "God Squad" was used many years ago in a derisive way to describe groups of Christians. Perhaps records of this need to be dredged up, and a "cease and desist" order sent to Best Buy.

About time... (2, Interesting)

Tactical Bacon (1879876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33263838)

Considering how virtually every religious sticker I see on a car is a (poorly done) rip-off of an existing trademarked character or logo, it's kind of refreshing to see them actually get called on it. Thou Shalt Not Steal. Unless it looks cool and you can make a mint by altering it to promote your church...

Striesand Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33263872)

In 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

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