Best Buy and NewEgg.com argue over "Geek"

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."

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35 Comments

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There is no way Worst Buy would ever win this lawsuit. Any idiot can see this.

Just proves the stupid money grubbing lawyers will sue over anything and everything.

I dont really shop at best buy but those are for totally other reasons, as for this NewEgg uses the same color in a lot of their wording in the e-mails they send to me, I dont see this as trying to infringe on their trademark, because as a consumer I dont distiguish it in any way with the fail geek squad.

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.

Not that they came up with any of that. They just bought the company 'GeekSquad' and rolled it out to their stores.

Wasn't Geek Squad the one whose members copy all your videos and photos on thumb drives if you get your PC "fixed" ?

Aethec said,
Wasn't Geek Squad the one whose members copy all your videos and photos on thumb drives if you get your PC "fixed" ?

As does just about any computer repair shop in the world. Hell, when I worked for a buddy's shop a decade ago, it was pretty much standard procedure to run a search on all common video and picture formats on every machine that came in the shop, especially those owned by attractive female customers.

roadwarrior said,

As does just about any computer repair shop in the world. Hell, when I worked for a buddy's shop a decade ago, it was pretty much standard procedure to run a search on all common video and picture formats on every machine that came in the shop, especially those owned by attractive female customers.

Well, then that's f***ed up. No morals for the win?

roadwarrior said,

As does just about any computer repair shop in the world. Hell, when I worked for a buddy's shop a decade ago, it was pretty much standard procedure to run a search on all common video and picture formats on every machine that came in the shop, especially those owned by attractive female customers.

Thank you for qualifying your statement with "just about any," and not "all." I don't have the time to go rifling through the data files on systems I work on -- they wanted them back yesterday to start with. I show my customers the same level of privacy I would *hope* to get if I ever had to take a machine in.

Best Buy wins a position as one of the top 10 useless companies of 2011. Awesome.

Geek Squad does nothing but break computers and overcharge, while NewEgg helps you fix your computer at highly reasonable prices.

I really hope Best Buy pays dearly for this mistake.

mDaWg said,
Best Buy wins a position as one of the top 10 useless companies of 2011. Awesome.

Geek Squad does nothing but break computers and overcharge, while NewEgg helps you fix your computer at highly reasonable prices.

I really hope Best Buy pays dearly for this mistake.

NewEgg doesn't fix computers

episode said,

NewEgg doesn't fix computers

Notice that I said "helps you fix" not "fixes". I meant that in the sense you can buy replacement parts for your computer. If you're really stupid enough not to know how to install a part yourself or get it working, NewEgg support usually will help you out over the phone if you call them.

Thanks, Smartass.

mDaWg said,

Notice that I said "helps you fix" not "fixes". I meant that in the sense you can buy replacement parts for your computer. If you're really stupid enough not to know how to install a part yourself or get it working, NewEgg support usually will help you out over the phone if you call them.

Thanks, Smartass.

No, they really don't operate in the same realm. A person who knows how to buy a computer, make word docs, and open emails is going to Geek Squad when their computer breaks. They're not going to NewEgg, as they've never heard of it and wouldn't be helped at all by the website if they had.

Memnochxx said,
No, they really don't operate in the same realm.

Duh, one messes things up, another supplies parts to some people who know better (and, in doing so, helps them build/fix their computer).

leo221 said,
I ask why pay 30%+tax at bestbuy when you can save money buying newegg and amazon?

In what state are you paying 30%+ sales tax?....

xendrome said,

In what state are you paying 30%+ sales tax?....
not just which "State". Many of us know that BestBuy cost 30% more on all the electronic stuff.

I miss the Best Buy of old, the one where I had no reason to go there but I would on release Tuesday and buy something I didn't know I wanted. Now, I avoid that place at all costs and only browse when my wife and I split at the mall... and still walk out empty handed.

Other than the word and the use of an orange (not even the same orange) color, there is no commonality and thus no confusion. Anyone who would be confused wouldn't even be shopping at Newegg anyway.

Well in all other cases I can kind of see where they have a point.
I don't know why BestBuy don't just go ahead and sue the television series chuck for the obvious parody.

In this matter, I'd certainly like to get my Geek On with NewEgg.com

Ah well, I guess this is Monday morning's news.

dotf said,
I don't know why BestBuy don't just go ahead and sue the television series chuck for the obvious parody.

You have to admit, Buy More is way better than Best Buy. I even have a shirt to prove it

Tanshin said,

You have to admit, Buy More is way better than Best Buy. I even have a shirt to prove it

At least Buy More is honest about the store's intentions. "Best Buy" is a damn lie.

Solid Knight said,

At least Buy More is honest about the store's intentions. "Best Buy" is a damn lie.
I think it's the "Geeks" that are spies that make "Buy More" the best.

jdegree said,
Geek this.
If this goes through, I am going to trademark the word "THE" and rule the world.

I Lol'd. Seriously, that would be cool. We should submit a patent for the word "geek", and sell it to newegg, while forcing Best Buy to remove the word from all their vehicles and branding. They can call themselves "The Fail Squad" or "The Zero Competence Squad" for all i care.

I think it's especially funny when those "Geek Squad" people leave their discs with all their "secrets" in someone's computer. I've seen it done at least 20 times in all the computers that i have worked on.

TruAmbitionz said,
This is simple. One is a store. One is online. Shut up already.

It's simpler than that. One is a sales promotion, the other is a next to useless in-store tech support

Sraf said,

It's simpler than that. One is a sales promotion, the other is a next to useless in-store tech support

The only thing Geek Squad is useful for is messing up computers so they get more money, or extended warranties.

Seriously Best Buy, get over it. Maybe they've just been waiting for a chance to sue since Newegg has better prices

Tanshin said,

The only thing Geek Squad is useful for is messing up computers so they get more money, or extended warranties.

Seriously Best Buy, get over it. Maybe they've just been waiting for a chance to sue since Newegg has better prices

that's the bottom line... screw Best Buy. they just upset because a lot of people use newegg nowadays because of the great prices and solid reputation. Newegg is pretty much king when it comes to computer related stuff on average.

Gone are the days when you could quietly file a lawsuit and no one is the wiser. Business is all about perception and customers and when you are perceived as being money grubbing jerks (Best Buy) you will pay. This case will go away.