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If this story weren’t serious, it would be funny. Johnson & Johnson has sued the Red Cross claiming it owns the red cross. Yup, the cross. JJ.jpgEven the Church doesn’t own the cross. Like all religious symbols, it has a deep history that predates Christianity. Same with the Star of David, which was appropriated by Jews in the Middle Ages. In Israel, of course, the Red Cross is actually the Red Star of David (i.e. Red Magen David), in the same way it’s the Red Crescent in the Muslim World. I guess Johnson & Johnson is safe there.
But what’s next: Will Baby Shampoo sue the Vatican?

Johnson & Johnson, the health-products giant that uses a red cross as its trademark, sued the American Red Cross on Wednesday, demanding that the charity halt the use of the red cross symbol on products it sells to the public.
Johnson & Johnson said it has had exclusive rights to use the trademark on certain commercial products — including bandages and first-aid cream — for more than 100 years.
It contends that the Red Cross is supposed to use the symbol only in connection with nonprofit relief services.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, marked the breakdown of months of behind-the-scenes negotiations and prompted an angry response from the Red Cross.
“For a multibillion-dollar drug company to claim that the Red Cross violated a criminal statute … simply so that J&J can make more money, is obscene,” said Mark Everson, the Red Cross president.
Johnson & Johnson began using the red cross design as a trademark in 1887 — six years after the creation of the American Red Cross but before it received its congressional charter in 1900. The lawsuit contends that the charter did not empower the Red Cross to engage in commercial activities competing with a private business

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