May 16th, 2008

Latest on the American Red Cross Suit

Late Wednesday, United State District Judge Jed S. Rakoff issued a decision about whether Johnson & Johnson could pursue some of the claims made in its complaint against the American Red Cross to restore the long-held legal boundaries surrounding the use of the Red Cross trademark. Given this matter is still pending, there isn’t much more to say about our legal strategy beyond what has been already said in public statements (here and here) and on this blog (here, here, here and here), but for those who are interested, below is the company’s statement on Wednesday’s decision:

We are pleased that the Court upheld Johnson & Johnson’s use of its Red Cross trademark over the past century as entirely appropriate under federal law, and that the Court upheld our right to pursue the tortious interference and breach of contract claims. We are disappointed that the Court rejected our claims involving ARC’s commercial uses of the emblem. We are reviewing the decision and look forward to continuing this process to resolve our legal dispute with the American Red Cross.

Of course, it is imortant to keep in mind that Johnson & Johnson remains committed to supporting the longstanding mission of the American Red Cross to provide relief services in times of natural disasters.

One Response to “Latest on the American Red Cross Suit”

  1. Antoine Clarke says

    So the trademark is recognized (which was not a matter of dispute) but the ARC can continue to do deals with its logo. In plain English, that’s a defeat.

    Defeat because the bottom line, J&J’s income versus expenditure, is hit by litigation costs. Defeat also because the publicity was nearly all bad (the only good bit was the discussion on this blog and the recognition by outsiders of J&J’s willingness to communicate).

    If the purpose was to hurt the ARC, it worked. A lot of people came out and criticized the group for some of its practices. But none of that can be of the slightest benefit to J&J. On the contrary… relations with the ARC will not be easy and most people who heard about the case think J&J is Scrooge’s evil twin.

    If anyone sat in a calm room for 15 minutes before deciding to launch this process, I’m sure they could have forecast every step of this outcome. Is anyone going on gardening leave over this one?

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