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Update: NY attorney Dan Lewis weighs in on this issue and has an awesome explanation about the Red Cross mark and why it’s in a very special class of trademarks. Very much worth a read.
Twiddict is a service which lets all of you addicted Twitter users send Tweets even when Twitter is down (you know, fail whale time!). Robin Wauters is on the Twiddict team and has a post today that’s a bit disappointing.
Basically the American Red Cross has gone after Twiddict for their usage of the red cross (shown in logo on left). Robin notes, "The Office of the General Counsel of the American Red Cross, claiming that we need to stop using a red cross in our logo, because it violates their copyright. I’ll spare you the details, but basically, the only third parties allowed to use the red cross emblem in their logo are the ones that have been doing so since before the year 1905. For some reason, this list of third parties does not include any Twitter mashups." It seems that logo mark attorneys have quotas to meet!
This is similar to the case brought up by RedHat against the DataPortability group earlier this year. You will note that the red cross seems pretty similar to a lowercase t in red. I certainly didn’t view that logo and immediately realize that the red cross (really a t) was the symbol of the Red Cross.
I’ve embedded the guidelines that were sent to Robin from the Red Cross below. Basically they explain that you would never steal the golden arches of McDonalds, so why steal their red cross?
Robin is seeking feedback on what he should do – either change the color or fight the Red Cross.
Please note that I have determined I now own the blue C – if you use a blue C anywhere, I shall come after you!