Sunday, August 12, 2007

Red Crosses for Johnson & Johnson

From the Socialist Courier blog:

Capitalism cares little for society other than as a milk-cow for profits and further profits. Socialists are rarely shocked by the depths of decency that capitalists will go to accrue profits.

Johnson and Johnson is suing the American Red Cross, alleging the charity has misused the famous red cross symbol for commercial purposes. The lawsuit asks for sales of disputed products - also including medical gloves, nail clippers, combs and toothbrushes - to be stopped and unsold items to be handed over to Johnson and Johnson. The firm is also seeking damages equivalent to the value of such goods sold in supermarkets such as Wal-Mart.

Johnson and Johnson claim a deal with the charity's founder in 1895 gave it the "exclusive use" of the symbol as a trademark for drug, chemical and surgical products. It said American Red Cross had violated this agreement by licensing the symbol to other firms to sell certain goods. The lawsuit argues that the firm reached an agreement with the charity's founder Clara Barton about the commercial use of the symbol for certain products. It maintains that the charter did not give the charity the right to engage in commercial activities which would conflict with a private company.

The American Red Cross described the lawsuit as "obscene", adding that it believed the firm's actions were financially motivated.

It said many of the products at issue were health and safety kits and that profits from their sale had been used to support disaster-relief campaigns.
Alan Johnstone