Above is a television ad for NewEgg. You know that site, right? That site that computer geeks and nerds love because it’s got great prices on consumer electronics, with handy reviews from passionate and knowledgeable users who have used the exact product you’re searching for? Yeah, well, Best Buy thinks it’s complete hogwash that NewEgg users might know more than their obviously-superior hourly employees. So, they sent a cease and desist letter. Read on for more.
Perhaps the best part of the cease and desist letter is when they get around to describing NewEgg’s, *ahem*, creative interpretation of Best Buy employees:
“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.'”
Youch. I mean about the slovenly part. The rest is pretty much dead on, I’d say! In fairness, there’s always the exceptions, and occasionally I’ve had a good experience in a Best Buy store. But reputations don’t come out of thin air. Sorry if the truth hurts, Best Buy, but given your high turnover and generally lax standards on employees, I can’t say the ad’s far off the mark. And even if you have raised standards on what your employees should know, in principle, someone who’s spent months with a product is going to know more than someone who’s spent three minutes tops with every product.
In the matter of the more verifiable disputes, however, Best Buy’s claim becomes even more tenuous after the mention of the depiction of their employees. In addition to Best Buy’s issue with what could debatable be considered a satire, they claim that the use of NewEgg’s GeekOn logo (as depicted on a t-shirt here) causes consumer confusion because Best Buy, in various forms, also uses the word “geek”, a variant of the power button symbol, and the color orange. By this logic, Best Buy should also be issuing C&D’s to ThinkGeek, New York City-branded condoms, and guidos*.
It’s not the first time a company has made a lawsuit out of a vague similarity, and it certainly won’t be the last. You’d be hard-pressed, though, to convince us that this isn’t just a simple matter of a little bruised ego on Best Buy’s part, with a side order of Mountain Out of A Molehill. Which, by the way, is a disgusting dish. Never eat that. Gross.
* — I’m on board with this, actually. I’d prefer all guidos cease and desist. Everything. Immediately. Forever.