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Johnson & Johnson Puts Red Cross In Legal "Cross Hairs"

Johnson & Johnson
AP
Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson , the drug/medical device/consumer health products company reeling from a plunge in sales of its anemia drug, Procrit, and its drug-coated stent, Cypher, is going to court. Not to defend a lucrative pharmaceutical patent, but to get The Red Cross to stop using its red cross logo on certain marketed products like humidifiers and grooming tools.

The two have had a deal to share the red cross dating back more than 110 years. J & J says some of the Red Cross-marketed products compete with its own products. The Red Cross is livid that it has to spend money to defend itself. J & J says it tried to resolve the matter out of court and that The Red Cross is only supposed to use the logo on relief supplies and such.

JNJ just announced last week it is laying off about 5,000 people because of its business downturn. In a research note to clients this morning Miller Tabak Healthcare Analyst, Les Funtleyder, writes "Given the obvious issues at JNJ recently we find it a bit unusual that JNJ is picking a high profile and probably immaterial-to-financials fight." He reiterates his neutral rating on the stock.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com

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