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American Red Cross Defends Use of Emblem and Mission
Date:12/20/2007

NSON SUIT AGAINST THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

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

Charter purposes.

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

the emblem.

"Barton Agreement" Never Ratified

6. In 1895, when Congress was first considering legislation to charter

the Red Cross, J&
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SOURCE American Red Cross
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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