Remember when being a "geek" was supposed to be a bad thing? We certainly do. Now the term "geek" is actually a badge to be proud of for some people and, as it turns out, some businesses. Witness Best Buy which has gotten a lot of marketing traction with naming its computer tech support division the "Geek Squad" complete with cute Volkswagen Beetle cars with the Geek Squad logo. Now Best Buy is defending its use of the word "Geek" against a big rival, the tech web site NewEgg.com.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Best Buy has threatened NewEgg.com with a lawsuit if NewEgg.com continues with its recent Geek On ad campaign. Best Buy claims that the campaign sounds too similar to its Geek Squad name. However NewEgg.com didn't just cave. It actually posted up Best Buy's legal letter on its Facebook page last month. As a result NewEgg.com's defenders went after Best Buy, saying that the company was trying to claim ownership of the word "geek".
Best Buy insists it is not doing that. It is simply trying to defend its trademarked Geek Squad name against NewEgg.com with a spokesperson stating that "It is not just the word geek, it is the word geek with orange and black coloration" that the company has a problem with. However Best Buy has a history of going after companies that have used "geek" in some way. The article states that it has "disputed more than a dozen geek-themed trademarks in the past decade, federal records show, including Rent a Geek, Geek Rescue and Speak With A Geek."