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Newegg Rejects Best Buy's Copyright Infringement Claim

By - Source: Newegg | B 106 comments

Newegg has responded to copyright infringement claims by Best Buy which insist that the Geek On logo infringes on the latter's Geek Squad logo.

Last week Best Buy issued a cease and desist order to online electronics retailer Newegg over the latter company's use of the word "geek" in its latest advertising campaign. Best Buy's aggravation was also compounded by the similarities between its own Geek Squad Logo colors (orange, black and white) and Newegg's Geek On logo colors (also orange, black and white), and the similarities between Newegg's use of the "power on" symbol in "on" and Best Buy's tie-in-a-power-on-symbol.

Best Buy also wasn't happy about Newegg seemingly making fun of Best Buy employees in a recent TV ad.

"Best Buy has spent many years building goodwill in its distinctive GEEK SQUAD Mark, Geek Squad Trade Dress, and Tie and Power Design mark," the company said in the two-page letter. "As a result, these marks and trade dress have come to identify Best Buy's Geek Squad services to consumers around the country. Given Best Buy's substantial investment over the years in building equity in these marks and trade dress, Best Buy cannot permit activities which place that valuable goodwill at risk."

"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" the company said further on in the letter. "While we welcome fair competition, we cannot tolerate unfair competition that disparages our employees, confuses our customers and damages our valuable trademarks and the goodwill associated with those marks."

On Tuesday Newegg responded to Best Buy's request, saying that it disagrees with the rival's claim of copyright infringement. "Best Buy neither owns nor has exclusive rights to use the word 'Geek,' and Best Buy neither owns nor has exclusive rights to use a general, unstylized computer power button icon.'

The letter also addressed Best Buy's concerns over the TV ad, saying that it doesn't constitute trade disparagement, but is merely a "comedic, tongue-in-cheek take" on a commonly understood customer experience. "[It] does not name, identify or focus on any particular retailer, and we believe that the actor portraying the salesperson is not 'slovenly' in any way," Newegg said.

But to make amends and not offend Best Buy and its employees, Newegg edited its TV spot with a disclaimer saying that the photoplay is a work of fiction, and that no animals were harmed in the making of the controversial commercial.

Newegg TV 2011 Commercial #1 v2

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  • 39 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , June 15, 2011 12:24 AM
    whats terrible is this is no exaggeration at all, best buy and radio shack have people just like this working for them, they have no idea what they are selling, and OF COURSE they overcharge by an insane margin..
  • 33 Hide
    LATTEH , June 15, 2011 12:22 AM
    (best buy < new egg) && (new egg > bestbuy)


    1
  • 28 Hide
    guardianangel42 , June 15, 2011 12:31 AM
    I loved that commercial; it was very funny.
Other Comments
  • 33 Hide
    LATTEH , June 15, 2011 12:22 AM
    (best buy < new egg) && (new egg > bestbuy)


    1
  • 39 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , June 15, 2011 12:24 AM
    whats terrible is this is no exaggeration at all, best buy and radio shack have people just like this working for them, they have no idea what they are selling, and OF COURSE they overcharge by an insane margin..
  • 28 Hide
    guardianangel42 , June 15, 2011 12:31 AM
    I loved that commercial; it was very funny.
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , June 15, 2011 12:38 AM
    Best Buy knows it's losing sales and this the main culprit. I never goto BB just because they charge so much for what really isn't exspensive at all, let alone I have never met anyone there who wasn't after the commision. I knew someone who worked there and they said it's usually a 40% markup..
    Newegg has shown through it's sales and prices just how good they are. The reviews happen to be there, and the weight of them shine through now.
    I am a geek, I live, breathe, eat, sleep, work computers, so the commerical is correct.
  • 24 Hide
    11796pcs , June 15, 2011 12:41 AM
    Go pout in a corner Best Buy, your actions just made me make all of my electronics purchases Newegg ones. If BB takes this to court and wins it will symbolize everything that's wrong with this country. On a lighter note, the disclaimer was awesome- "no animals were harmed in the making of this commercial"- pure awesomeness.
  • 24 Hide
    fpsgamer_10 , June 15, 2011 12:57 AM
    Newegg's parody is spot on. From my experience, their sales floor employees just don't know much or if anything at all. They can only show you the direction to where you want to go, write a rain check and do checkouts. Awhile back, a major News corporation did an uncover investigation on major and local pc repair stores, and Best Buy's was one of the worse. The News corp undercover team brought in a pc (with a single unplugged cable which caused the pc to not boot up), and Geek squad not only overcharged them to just make a diagnosis, but claimed that the pc had major viruses, and needed a new hdd b/c it was corrupt and unusable. The bill ended up in the 250 range.

    But one rare occasions, Best Buy will have sale on a product that you may want to buy.
  • 13 Hide
    aznshinobi , June 15, 2011 1:04 AM
    Due it was so true, Best Buy employee's don't know **** about computers. I'll ask em what a certain laptop has over another one, they just read me the specs.
  • 13 Hide
    christop , June 15, 2011 1:05 AM
    The commercial is funny and so true. I would not say it was directed at bestbuy cause all of the electronic stores are all the same they don't know what the hell they are selling and really don't know the difference between a I5 or an I3 cpu. They do know to try and sell upgrades and extended warranty.
  • 11 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , June 15, 2011 1:18 AM
    Best Buy sucks. Sorry, I can't put it any other way. After dealing with the Geek Squad for wanting to seriously overcharge me for some lame premium to include a million other services that I had absolutely no use for, they leave me no choice but to say...well...they suck. Lets see, I ended up having a motherboard with some bad parts on it. Best Buy wanted to charge me $200 to find out the problem. Fry's, on the other hand, $70, and this price gets right to the point. No bloatware, not bloatservice (I just made that term up myself), just find the damn problem and let me decide what to do next.
  • 12 Hide
    The Greater Good , June 15, 2011 1:26 AM
    I love that ad. So true, so true.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , June 15, 2011 1:30 AM
    The article title is wrong. This isn't a copyright infringement claim, it's a trademark infringement claim. Completely different law. The good news is Best Buy will probably lose on the law.
  • 13 Hide
    JamesSneed , June 15, 2011 1:36 AM
    I recently fixed a friends Laptop after they took it to Geek squad. They said she needed a new keyboard on the laptop. Labor and parts were almost 1/2 the cost of the cheapo laptop so she dropped it by my house. Come to find out the crappy software "dock" application was intercepting key strokes. Stopped the software from loading up and the keyboard was fixed. Took me about 10 minutes to pull up the on screen "accessibility" keyboard and click the keys to see that they didn't register, nope not the keyboard. Started killing non essential apps and retested. I spent less than 1/2 hour. She would have spent way to much money to find the new keyboard didn't resolve the issue. Go newegg!
  • 9 Hide
    edilee , June 15, 2011 2:12 AM
    Newegg has BB beat in all aspects and the choice of where to buy for serious/power users is simple. Newegg's tech's/salespersons are it's customers and with a fairly high margin of "tech" oriented customers the reviews alone are better than any saleperson at BB can offer you.

    Oh and PRICE! As certain hardware prices decrease at Newegg as manafacturer's lower their price BB price remains at the release price...even years later...for example video cards.

    BB is a retailer of products just like Lowes and Home Depot with I deal with alot in my line of work...folks know your stuff before walking in the door and don't expect alot of help if you need it. You will find a an employee every now and then that knows his stuff but this is rare. BB's Geek Squad is a freaking joke and why they have their panties in a bunch over this is beyond me.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , June 15, 2011 2:48 AM
    As a Best Buy employee who actually knows his shit and strives for awesome customer service, I'm disheartened by all the bad press regarding their pc repair/sales people. I will not, however, argue with the fact that there ARE employees like this in the stores. Maybe increased pay and a more thorough qualification process would fix this. Obviously there are problems with my solution, but I still feel it would be for the best.
  • 7 Hide
    ubercake , June 15, 2011 2:49 AM
    The first of many acts of desperation to come from the double-B.

    You have to know newegg and other reasonable retailers (online or otherise) have taken away some serious market share from BestBuy. I can't see Bestbuy being in business too much longer selling suckers $100 6' Monster HDMI cables and $50 4GB SD cards.

    They can't even compete any longer with Amazon, Newegg, or Microcenter. A downward spiral. They had their day, but it's gone.
  • 9 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , June 15, 2011 3:28 AM
    Is this a joke? Newegg is like the professional Baseball team, while Best Buy is and has ALWAYS been Little League status.


    Best Buy is in the same realm as Apple, in terms of technology knowledge. Both companies are posers whom market towards the technology inclined and retard individuals - whom may I add, choose to be that way. No one forces them to be so willfully ignorant and stupid. They choose to not take an hour of time to read and learn.
  • 10 Hide
    verbalizer , June 15, 2011 3:29 AM
    stay the course newegg, I'm on your side..
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