Re: Hot Type’s “Red Brigade” (February 21)
R.J. Reynolds’s corporate spokesperson was “interested” but not too in the similarity between their Kamel Red logo and the Tribune’s RedEye minipaper. Have corporations gone soft on trademark infringement suddenly, or did the two giants look each other in the “Eye” and decide it would be too costly to wrassle? The explanation that a newspaper isn’t a competing cigarette is just smoke and mirrors. Did the artist VelVeeda or whoever lose out to Kraft over infringing on their processed cheese spread Velveeta trademark because he was cutting into the spreadable-cheese market [Culture Club, May 17, 2002]? It’s not like Velveeta is competing in the artistic circles, though the original creation of a nonfood processed cheese spread might be construed as artistic thinking.
What about all the other small, fledgling concerns that have been slapped with cease and desist orders? R.J. Reynolds and Tribune Company should treat trademark infringement consistently and fight this out corpo a corpo.