Red Cross Established First Use of Emblem:
1. The Red Cross began using the red cross emblem in 1881, six years
before Johnson & Johnson (J&J) began using the emblem in 1887.
2. J&J obtained a trademark registration in 1887, but did not object to
the Red Cross use of the emblem at that time.
3. The Red Cross was first chartered by Congress in 1900, and that
charter was amended in 1905. The 1905 amendment gave the Red Cross the
use of the emblem, and specifically stated that "in carrying out its
purposes under this [charter], [the Red Cross] may have the use, as an
emblem and badge, a Greek red cross on a white ground..." The Charter
grants the Red Cross "to conduct other activities consistent with" its
4. In the 1905 Charter amendment, Congress intended the Red Cross to have
the exclusive use of the emblem, and this was confirmed by the U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office (PTO) when they specifically reserved an application
serial number for the Red Cross to register its Emblem in EVERY class of
goods and services without limitation.
5. J&J was concerned that it would lose its right to use the emblem on
its products, so it lobbied Congress to allow it to continue, or
"grandfather" its use of the red cross symbol. Congress passed a law
making it a crime for third parties other than the Red Cross to use a red
cross symbol fraudulently but also permitted J&J and the dozens of other
companies to continue to use the red cross emblem for only those products
used by those companies as of that time. Congress made this a criminal
statute specifically to protect the Red Cross from unauthorized users of
"Barton Agreement" Never Ratified
6. In 1895, when Congress was first considering legislation to charter
the Red Cross, J&
|SOURCE American Red Cross|
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved