J&J keen on mediation of suit over Red Cross

NEW YORK, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Drugmaker Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N wants mediation to resolve its dispute with the American Red Cross over the use of the red cross emblem, a lawyer for the company said on Thursday.

“Johnson & Johnson is very interested in mediation,” the lawyer told U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff during a hearing at the federal court in Manhattan.

J&J sued the relief group earlier this month, arguing it has owned the trademark for the symbol for more than 100 years. It asked the court to prohibit sales of the items, and wanted the Red Cross to return monetary gains.

The Red Cross has said it has been selling items such as first aid kits with the emblem since 1903 with no dispute from J&J.

Since 2004, the Red Cross had sold items bearing the emblem, including first aid kits, hand sanitizers and medical gloves, at such large store chains as Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N and Target TGT.N.

J&J has said it objects to the group’s licenses with outside companies that sell its products at those big chain stores. (Reporting by Paritosh Bansal)