Johnson & Johnson has filed a lawsuit against the American Red Cross and four of its licensing partners for "unlawful conduct" related to the nonprofit's use of the Red Cross emblem.
Specifically, J&J demands that the Red Cross:
- Stop the Red Cross and its licensing partners from using the Red Cross emblem permanently on first aid, preparedness and related products sold to the public;
- Surrender to J&J for destruction the Red Cross' inventory of accused products;
- Hand over to J&J all Red Cross proceeds from the sale of these products with interest; and
- Pay punitive damages to J&J along with attorney fees related to its legal action against the Red Cross.
"For a multi-billion dollar drug company to claim that the Red Cross violated a criminal statute that was created to protect the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross-simply so that J&J can make more money-is obscene," said Mark W. Everson, President and CEO of the American Red Cross.
Research has found that only seven percent of Americans have taken the necessary steps to be prepared-and that more people would get prepared if preparedness products were more available, including at retail locations. Since 2004, the Red Cross has worked with several licensing partners to create first aid, preparedness and related products that bear the Red Cross emblem.
All money the Red Cross receives from the sale of these products to consumers is reinvested in its humanitarian programs and services.
"The Red Cross products that J&J wants to take away from consumers and have destroyed are those that help Americans get prepared for life's emergencies," said Everson. "I hope that the courts and Congress will not allow Johnson & Johnson to bully the American Red Cross."
The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.