[JURIST] Johnson & Johnson (J&J) [corporate website] filed a civil lawsuit Wednesday against the American Red Cross (ARC) [organization website] alleging that the ARC has been improperly licensing the red cross symbol [J&J press release] for commercial purposes. ARC President and CEO Mark W. Everson called the lawsuit "obscene" [ARC press release].
Johnson & Johnson, which has used the red cross emblem since 1887 and maintains it has the exclusive commercial rights to use the trademark on commercial products, reached an agreement to allow the ARC use of the red cross symbol in 1895. The ARC has licensed the use of the red cross symbol to several businesses for marketing on health products and safety kits. BBC News has more.