I got home from another day in the mines and found this in the in-box:
April 3, 2006
Attn: Allen (aka Grunt Doc)
Re: Unauthorized Use of Red Cross Emblem
It has come to the attention of the American Red Cross that you are using the emblem of the American Red Cross in connection with your Grunt Doc website. The red cross symbol is a protected trademark of the American Red Cross. Your use of the emblem of the American Red Cross is considered unauthorized.
The red cross symbol is not a generic symbol for emergency or medical services. Federal statute prohibits use of the name and emblem of the Red Cross by third parties except those which had used the name or emblem prior to 1905. I call to your attention Title 18, Section 706 of the U.S. Code:
Whoever wears or displays the sign of the Red Cross or any insignia colored in imitation thereof for the fraudulent purpose of inducing the belief that he is a member of or an agent for the American National Red Cross; or Whoever, whether a corporation, association or person, other than the American National Red Cross and its duly authorized employees and agents and the sanitary and hospital authorities of the armed forces of the United States, uses the emblem of the Greek red cross on a white ground, or any sign or insignia made or colored in imitation thereof or the words Red Cross or Geneva Cross or any combination of these words Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. 18 U.S.C. 706.
This statute is brought to your attention in the belief that you may not have been aware of the above prohibitions. As you can see, federal law expressly prohibits unauthorized parties from using the Red Cross name and emblem and imposes criminal penalties for violations. Furthermore, the emblem is also a federally registered trademark. Therefore, your misappropriation of the emblem also violates federal and state trademark law, unfair competition law and anti-dilution law. Attached is a brochure that explains the unique status of the Red Cross emblem and why protection of it is so important.
The American Red Cross insists that you immediately refrain from all current and future uses of the American Red Cross emblem in connection with your Grunt Doc website and in all other aspects as well. You must either (i) change the color of your cross to a color other than red or a shade of red or (ii) stop using the cross symbol altogether.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please contact me to advise me of the corrective action taken.
[redacted by me]
Office of the General Counsel
American Red Cross
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
So, farewell to the old GruntDoc logo with the Red Cross (under which I slept and cared for military personnel). I haven’t decided what change I’ll make.
Funny, they didn’t object when I ran a Red Cross ad, for free, on my site encouraging people to give to them after disasters. I guess they have enough money now.