Best Buy Issues Cease & Desist Over's Use Of The Word "Geek"

The folks at Best Buy are none too happy with electronics e-tailer The boys in blue believe that their online competitor stepped over a trademarked line by using the word “geek” and by making fun of inept Best Buy staffers in a TV ad.

Newegg just posted the letter in its entirety over on its Facebook page, but here are the main points:

Newegg recently launched a marketing campaign titled “Geek on,” featuring those very words in promotions and even selling tee shirts with the logo.

Best Buy’s Geek Squad logo is orange, black and white. Newegg’s “Geek on” logo is in black and orange, though a very different font is used. However, Best Buy also takes issue with Newegg’s turning the “O” in “on into a power button, as the retailer has a Geek Squad Black Tie Protection logo that features a power button.

Best Buy’s second issue involves a Newegg TV ad (see it for yourself below) that features a blue-shirted electronics store worker who obviously knows nothing about his job.

From the C&D letter:

The fake Best Buy employee is depicted as being slovenly and uninformed about computer products, in contrast to your employees who are portrayed as “experts.”

Your misuse of our valuable trademarks and your negative portrayal of our employees violate our trademark rights and misleads consumers about our services, in violation of federal and state law. While we welcome fair competition, we cannot tolerate unfair competition that disparages our employees, confuses customers and damages our valuable trademarks and the goodwill associated with those marks. We take great pride in our employees and the high quality of customer service they offer and find your company’s focus on our employees in this advertising campaign to be particularly offensive.

What do you think? Did Newegg cross a line or is Best Buy just being overly sensitive?

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