Friday, August 10, 2007

Johnson and Johnson: Giving lawyers a bad name

Part of the buzz at the American Bar Association annual meeting here in San Francisco is over a lawsuit filed by corporate giant Johnson and Johnson against the American Red Cross.

Johnson and Johnson wants the Red Cross to stop using in some advertising -- get this -- the red cross. You heard that right.

Seems Johnson and Johnson and the American Red Cross share the trademark right to the red cross logo. The charity also uses it on a smattering of merchandise it sells -- stuff that brings in about $10 million a year to the charity -- which angers Johnson and Johnson (even though $10 million to the corporate mammoth is chump change).

The Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton in 1881. Johnson and Johnson didn't come along until six years later. Regardless of the nuances of the law, most people would agree that the charity would have first dibs on the name and the red cross logo.

The firestorm over this insane lawsuit is inflaming the blogworld including calls to boycott Johnson and Johnson products.

Good idea. The courts have better things to do than to babysit this silly lawsuit. Johnson and Johnson and their lawyers should hang their heads in shame. Boners like this one show why the legal profession is viewed with such disdain by so many Americans.

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