Best Buy Takes on Priest for Copyright Violation Over 'God Squad' Mobile

It's God versus the Geeks.

A major electronics retailer is threatening legal action against a Wisconsin priest over his "God Squad" vehicle, claiming the logo on the clergyman's Volkswagen Beetle is identical to its own "Geek Squad" design.

Rev. Luke Strand, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Fond du Lac, Wis., is no longer using the logo after Best Buy served him a cease-and-desist order, arguing that his religious vehicle is a copyright violation of its famous "Geek Squad" mobile.

The trademark of "Geek Squad" -- a Best Buy subsidiary that offers computer-related services to customers -- is a black Volkswagen Beetle with a catchy sticker logo on its front door. Strand's vehicle, also a black Volkswagen Beetle, has a black and white circular logo on its door that reads "God Squad." Rosary beads hang from the car’s rearview mirror and the license plate says "Godlvya."

"They feel that the shape and the font of the logo and the fact that it's on the Volkswagen bug causes confusion with their Geek Squad," Rhea Behlke, a spokeswoman for the church, told

Behlke said Strand, who was not available for comment Tuesday, has agreed to no longer use the logo. She said he was initially surprised by the letter threatening legal action but understands the company’s argument.

"They really have a responsibility to protect their trademark," she said. "There’s absolutely no animosity. He understands their position -- legally they have to do that."

"He's very aware that every company has to protect its trademark and that 'Geek Squad' is a protected trademark," Strand’s fellow clergyman, Rev. Bob Stiefvater, said in an interview with WLUK-TV.

Behlke said Strand has driven the "God Squad" around Fond du Lac for a "number of years" as a "creative way to bring God to the streets."

"It's just another tool to make the church open and accessible to people who may not otherwise feel comfortable approaching a priest. That is the purpose of the car and that will continue to be the purpose of the car," Behlke said, adding that the "God Squad" vehicle "will continue in some form."

A representative for Best Buy was not immediately available when contacted Tuesday by The company reportedly struggled with its decision to order Strand to give up his logo.

"At the end of the day it’s bad precedent to let some groups violate our trademark while pursuing others,” Paula Baldwin, a spokeswoman for Best Buy, said in a statement.

Click here to read more on this story from's Cristina Corbin contributed to this report