Years ago I recall hearing a veteran trademark lawyer warn intellectual property continuing legal education attendees, "When your toolbox only has a hammer in it, everything in your world starts to look like a nail."

Fair enough. It’s time for all of us to revisit the contents of our professional toolbox.

Last week, following the firestorm of criticism surrounding Best Buy’s cease and desist

–Dan Kelly, Attorney

By now, I assume that our readership is familiar with the “God Squad” story of this week’s news cycle.  If not, the executive summary is that Best Buy recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to a priest in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin requesting that he cease using a logo on his black Volkswagen

Mark Image   

Best Buy, owner of the Geek Squad brand since 2002, has filed a federal trademark infringement complaint in Minnesota against a pair of individual defendants apparently located in Missouri and California, for allegedly registering and using <thegeekpatrol.biz> domain and the names “Geek Patrol,” “Geek Squad,” and “Geek Squad Patrol”. Here is a copy of the Complaint, including Exhibit A (Trademark registrations), Exhibit B (DomainTools.com print out), Exhibit C (Tollfreeda.com print out), and Exhibit D (Superpages.com print out).

For those of you interested in great entrepreneurial stories, Robert Stephens founded Geek Squad while a student at the University of Minnesota, riding his bicycle around Minneapolis to make computer house calls. The stylish collection of branded Beetles permitted Stephens to cover much more ground when making house calls or office calls. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Robert Stephens and toured his humble first office located above Moose & Sadie’s cafe and coffeehouse blocks from downtown Minneapolis. He gave me and my wife what are now vintage Geek Squad t-shirts, obviously we should have had them autographed at the time!

My early and initial observations of the Geek Squad trademark Complaint are below the jump.


Continue Reading