This story at the Seattle Trademark Lawyer points out something that I see all the time: christian organizations ripping off logos and look and feel to push their agenda by trying to look hip (today I got a flier ripping off Facebook.com’s look and feel for a college christian ministry). The above story is about Starbucks logo ripoffs, such as the following:
The difference here is whether or not they would be considered parody. The Consumer Whore logo is clearly poking fun at Starbucks, the Jesus logo is not. Therefore, you the Jesus use is not a parody and may suggest an approval of the use by Starbucks, which would be infringement.
A quick spin around their web site found other infringements:
Abercrombie and Fitche
Cops TV show
The Red Cross
Orange Crush Soda, a Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages brand.
Lost TV Show
Mountain Dew, a PepsiCo brand
Reece’s, a Hershey Brand
Sprite, a Coca-Cola brand
I could go on and on. Of course, suing a company in Arkansas for making Jesus shirts could be a PR problem. Just make sure everyone knows that you are suing an apparel maker, not Jesus, and you will be OK.
Filed under: Trademark