August 16, 2010
Best Buy says “God Squad” Car Violates Trademark
“A Catholic priest from Wisconsin has been told that he is in violation of a trademark owned by electronics giant Best Buy, and could face legal action if he does not comply with a cease-and-desist order issued by the retailer’s legal department. “
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Father Luke Strand (center) has been given a cease-and-desist order for driving around a black Volkswagon Beetle with “God Squad” stickered on the side. Best Buys legal department claims that it violates their trade mark of their well known, highly overpriced and underqualified tech support team ‘Geek Squad’.
In a statement from Best Buys Legal team “”This was a really difficult thing for us to do because we appreciate what Father Strand is trying to accomplish with his mission. But at the end of the day, it’s bad precedent to let some groups violate our trademark while pursuing others,” Paula Baldwin, senior manager for public relations at Best Buy.
Father Strand claims the vehicle is nothing more then a conversation starter and that when people see it they generally laugh and then it helps lead them into a discussion about their faith and salvation.
While I am all for protecting one’s trade mark I do think this is crossing the line. What happens if this angers the church and they put their Legal team behind the church? Last I checked the Catholic church was no small entity. Personally I think you’d have better luck taking your machine to the God Squad and asking for a miracle then you would taking it to some of these unqualified techs they have on their staff.
Best Buy said it is working with Strand to come up with a new logo for his car.