I've previously argued that Best Buy
According to the WSJ, Best Buy's taken legal action on those who've used the word "geek" in their marketing lingo. The electronics chain claims that such efforts infringe on its "Geek Squad" trademark. Online company Newegg.com is just the latest target; over the past few years, Best Buy's pursued businesses with names or services like Rent a Geek, Geek Rescue, Speak With a Geek, and Geek Housecalls.
Any self-respecting geek knows that Best Buy didn't invent the word. It's a commonly recognized and respected term for the technologically savvy. Most geeks are proud to be geeks, and certainly don't want to be sued for trumpeting their credentials. And even non-geeks need a little geek help from time to time.
The parade of lawsuits also reflect badly on Best Buy as an investment. One of the folks interviewed in the article described the retailer's actions as "a bit desperate." No kidding.
It's never a good sign when any company or industry starts hurling lawsuits at the very folks they'd like to attract as customers. The music industry's litigious ways made me think poorly of investments in music companies, or businesses whose music units took part in the RIAA, like Warner Music
When covering Best Buy's most recent quarter, I noted that the retailer looks better than electronics retailers like Conn's
Needless to say, I'm beginning to wonder whether I spoke too soon. Heavy-handed corporate lawsuits like the geek-oriented ones the WSJ described do strike me as desperate, if not downright sad. Maybe Best Buy's better days are behind it. If it's attacking the geeks, it's kind of attacking its own peeps. That's never a smart idea.
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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. For more on this and other topics, check back at Fool.com, or follow her on Twitter: @AlyceLomax. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.