Geeks and God

Father Strand's God Squad Volkwagen
Is the “God Squad a “Trademark Infringement?

The Seventh Commandment says “Thou Shall Not Steal”, but is it really stealing to mimic a well known logo to promote a church?  Best Buy thinks so.  Wisconsin Priest Father Luke Strand, tricked out his Volkswagen Beetle by adding a logo that reads “God Squad.”  The logo is a take-off on Best Buy’s trademarked Geek Squad logo, prompting Best buy to issue a Cease and Desist letter to Strand’s Holy Family Catholic Community in Fond du Lac.

Paula Baldwin, from Best Buy public relations, insisted that the company pursues all possible trademark infringements and that they are in no means singling out the Church.  “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.” She told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  Indeed this is not the first time Best Buy has asserted their Geek Squad trademark against an infringement.  In 2009 they filed a complaint against a California company for using the domain “thegeekpatrol.biz.”

The God squad car, complete with the license plate GODLVYA, has been around for two years before catching the eye of Best Buy. The church, in response to the cease and desist action, has removed the logo. A resolution is expected to be “forgiving” as Best Buy is reportedly working with Father Strand to help alter the logo in a manner which satisfies both parties.

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