Yesterday, Best Buy sent a cease-and-desist letter to Scott Beale of Laughing Squid for reporting on an "Improv Everywhere" prank and their sales of T-shirts mocking the Best Buy logo. Best Buy claimed the post infringed its trademarks and copyrights by "promoting" sales of a T-shirt that mocked the Best Buy logo. Laughing Squid promptly posted the C&D, where it was picked up by BoingBoing and Slashdot. But Best Buy seems to have learned from the hubub, and sent its apologies a day later:
We appreciate your clarification of the nature of your posting. We do object to sales of T-shirts or other products bearing a logo which violates our trademarks or copyrights or other misuse of our logo in commercial ventures. However, we do not object to fair and accurate reporting of facts, and respect the First Amendment rights of Laughing Squid and other bloggers to provide articles or commentary on current events. Now that we have a better understanding of your website, we regret sending you the demand letter.It's good to see a company recognize the distinction between reporting and trademark infringement and drop its threats. We have to say, though, the T-shirts give "trade dress" claims a whole new meaning.