Monday, July 07, 2008

How to Keep Your Name in the News

I'm sure you know by now that the company Green Shift has decided to move forward with their lawsuit.

Jennifer Wright, the head of Green Shift Inc., told the Star today that her lawyers are drawing up a lawsuit claiming that the Liberals have stolen her company’s trademarked name and damaged the firm’s reputation.

I wish this person no ill, I support what her business appears to stand for and wish her success, but I simply cannot wrap my head around how on earth this has damaged her firm's reputation. Note that the suit claims that it has damaged their reputation. How will that be proven exactly?

Will her legal team bring forward the e-mails of enquiry she received after the BT's latched onto the story? They weren't legitimate enquiries of course, neither were they interested in her business. They weren't serious about their confusion, they only sought to use her predicament to their advantage. A defense based on being freeped, should be interesting don't you think?

Green Shift Inc. has been helping companies green their operations for the last decade. Wright said the Green Shift is not only her firm’s name, but the name of the strategy that she pitches to customers. She fears that those companies will be reluctant to associate themselves with her plan because it could be confused as partisan.

So, her case is based on the fact that her business has been affected, but in reality she simply worries that it might be.

She has a disclaimer on her site, disassociating herself and her company from the Lib's and the Lib's return the favour. No rational person would go to her site and confuse it with a political policy site, nor would anyone looking for the Liberal plan fail to notice that there is no Liberal logo or endorsement there.

We've all googled and noted just how many Green Shift sites are out there, not the least of which is one on the Government of Canada site. Why aren't they being targetted/sued?

Here's another point. Ipsos apparently has come out with a poll tonight, though I can' find it yet, that suggests that only 1 in 3 Canadians know about the Liberal Green Shift. Given that Dion only began his 'tour' this week at Stampede and he's finally getting coverage, that's not a huge surprise. Conversely, given that stat, how on earth can Jennifer Wright claim that her business has been damaged?

My last observation would be this.

When the firm was approached two years ago to sell its name to another company, the "rebranding costs" were estimated at $2 million, according to a spokesman acting on its behalf. At that time, Green Shift Inc. had annual sales of about $300,000. Last fiscal year the company brought in $1.5-million.

I wonder when that fiscal year ended and taking into account the slow down in the economy, will she be able to provide proof that her business has been hurt?

In the end, I think this law suit is ill conceived and frivolous. Perhaps she comes at it from an earnest point of view, but from the outside it seems that she has been taken in by Con trolls and lawyers interested in collecting fee's.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Lib's could have handled this better at the outset, but in the end I think this will do she and her firm no favours.

Oh. It should also be noted that some enterprising partisan has found this debate interesting enough to launch a web-site that riff's on the Liberal Victory Fund concept. I won't link to it because I won't be responsible for sending the guy more traffic, but the irony here is this.

The site has been set up to pay for Wright's legal fee's by someone who is apparently a Con supporter, though he disputes that. He feels it is fine to do this, using the same claim that the Lib's do. He has put the word, 'the', before Victory Fund in order to differentiate the site.

Ha, ha, sigh. Isn't that clever? In fact, it does differentiate the site. It looks nothing like the Liberal site, so there should be no confusion and he too has posted a disclaimer .

So what's is (R.Jago) and Green Shift's point here? We're doing the same...so sue us? Talk about defeating your own argument.

Irony is a funny thing, in that you have to actually have to understand it before you can employ it.

We'll have to wait to see how things shake out but so far, the strategy from the right of this country seems to resemble a campfire. Brilliant in terms of how they ignite it, but nothing but ashes at the end.

33 comments:

Steve V said...

One thing that really bothers me about this issue, the way in which the partisans have exploited it. Does anyone really doubt the "deluge" of emails she received where not, in part, an orchestrated fake outrage campaign from Cons, maybe even some Dippers. I mean, sure we all know the details here, but most people just saw a headline, no real genuine motivation to feel inspiration for an email. No, the response she received, a good chunk of it, was from partisan Conservatives, the irony being they actually have no respect for tree hugger enterprises. I think this fake dimension has actually influenced the thought process, which is why I emailed myself today to express my disappointment. It's about time we on the center left get our act together and quit allowing a empirical minority to have disporportionate influence. You tour the blogs, the comment sections in papers, and you would think that Cons are the majority in Canada- it's a false presentation, that doesn't actually reflect the true picture.

In reality, the center left online community is a joke in Canada, when compared with the Americans. You see how they mobilize to counter the crap down there, in an environment far more conservative friendly, and then you see us getting bullied about here, just because we tend to more passive, less involved, online anyways. This issue highlights a real problem, the fact that these misfits actually have greater sway with this technology. If your an editor at the G and M, and you read the comment sections, tell me that doesn't have some sway in how you view you readership?? It has too, there's a psychology component, that everyone who reads, especially the casual non-partisan, absorbs.

Here's their email:

info@greenshift.ca

Take twenty seconds (not you necessarily :)), and fire off an opinion of why this lawsuit is ridiculous. Counter balance the false impression that people are "outraged", push back the societal stragglers that band together and create a mirage. Cons don't rule Canada, why is the online world so warped? If the internet was truly reflective of the real population, we could BURY them, that's just reality.

Rant over. Sorry.

The Right is Where its At said...

KNB we disagree when it comes to politics,no doubt. If it was another political liberal blog other then yours I would not give the link to the poll that you are looking for. So here it is I hope its the one you are looking for. I'm not going to comment on your,because I don't want to argue;)

The Right is Where its At said...

"I'm not going to comment on your,because I don't want to argue;)"

I meant to say:

I'm not going to comment on your "BLOG",because I don't want to argue;) Sorry typo;)

Gayle said...

I am still not sure she is actually going to go through with this. It just seems like she thinks that if she puts pressure on the LPC, she will get her way.

What possible reason could she have to tell the Star she is going to sue, unless she hopes it will add to the pressure?

Maybe she will actually go through with it. Her behaviour just seems odd.

By the way, apparently the guy raising money for her through the victory fund website is a climate change denier (at least I read that somewhere on liblogs), and yet she will accept his money to fund the lawsuit. I guess maybe she thinks if she does not have to pay for the lawsuit herself, it is worth pursuing, but from all I have read she has absolutely no case, so I cannot imagine who is advising her to pursue this.

Babylonian777 said...

"By the way, apparently the guy raising money for her through the victory fund website is a climate change denier (at least I read that somewhere on liblogs), and yet she will accept his money to fund the lawsuit."

That's it honey.......sweetheart........Gayle............summon Suzuki to "sik" him. Have him sent to a Kanadian human rights tribunal.

BTW..........Climate change?!?!? What the hell happened to global warming?

Gayle said...

Never mind that, what ever happened to writing a coherent post!

Want to try that again babs?

Anonymous said...

The Liberals need to come up with a new name quick or arrive at a compromise. Changing slogans mid-stream isn't a good idea so hopefully they act quickly on this. The new poll linked by the commenter "the right is where its (sic) at" does not augur well for Mr. Dion. Jonathan Kay is already writing Mr. Dion's obituary in today's National Post, comparing him to John Tory and his religious school funding proposal. This is going to be a hard sell I'm afraid

The Right is Where its At said...

Anon post 7:34 am

"The new poll linked by the commenter "the right is where its (sic) at" does not augur well for Mr. Dion. Jonathan Kay is already writing Mr. Dion's obituary in today's National Post, comparing him to John Tory and his religious school funding proposal. This is going to be a hard sell I'm afraid"

Anon why do you feel the need to call people names when you don't even have the courage to reveal yourself? You pathetic coward.

KNB I just hope you don't support this name calling. Especially when I just came to give you the link that you were looking for,and that I didn't even make a comment on you're post.

Red Tory said...

$2 million in "rebranding" costs for a company making a paltry $300,000 in revenue. There's something seriously messed up with this scenario.

At this point, she just seems to be milking it.

Matt Cahill said...

The $300,000 figure comes from two years ago.
Last fiscal year, Green Shift brought in $1.5 million.
Green Shift's potential revenue for the next coming years would be much higher than that - maybe not a five-fold increase over and over - but significantly higher that is why the re-branding would cost relatively so much.

sharonapple88 said...

It's possible that "Green Shift" maybe too descriptive to be safely trademarked. Trademarks can pass if they're descriptive but they're open to challenges later.

knb said...

Well said Steve. In fact you neatly summed up something I've been feeling for some time.

I sometimes find myself walking away from the computer just to clear my head because I find the phenomenon you describe colouring my opinion, (albeit it the opposite direction).

I'll e-mail and I hope others take you up on your suggestion.

knb said...

Thank's for the link right. I appreciate it.

knb said...

gayle, there are many aspects to this that do not add up environmentally speaking.

As to who is advising her, I suppose it amounts to those who believe they can profit.

You're right though, this is a weird case.

Anonymous said...

Anon why do you feel the need to call people names when you don't even have the courage to reveal yourself? You pathetic coward.

Are you referring to the (sic) added to your handle? The use of (sic) is to indicate a error in punctuation, spelling, grammar, etc made in the original. It's a latin term meaning "just as that." There should be an apostrophe in your name: "The Right is Where it's At."

knb said...

Anon, the poll means little at this point and as for Kay and the NP, well that's hardly a surprise.

knb said...

Right, no one is calling you names. sic is used to indicate that the error contained in the text is attributed to the original author.

In this case, it is noting that the word its in your nickname should be it's, for it is.

RuralSandi said...

First of all - her company did not obtain the trademark - they applied, something didn't go right and had to apply again...she doesn't legally own the trademark.

Secondly - the Liberals put a disclaimer - this guy put a disclaimer on his Victory Fund site - how is that any different? Should the Liberals suit him?

She didn't want to be political with this legal action - hmmm....accepting money from Conservative supporters for her legal costs isn't political?

What am I missing here.

I agree with Steve V - we have to let her know.

knb said...

I agree RT, the numbers don't add up.

matt, I see where you are going but the original rebranding cost still doesn't make sense.

knb said...

Interesting sharonapple, thank you.

knb said...

Anon, ooop's. I didn't see your response before I left mine.

knb said...

Sandi accepting money from Conservative supporters for her legal costs isn't political?

I forgot about that.

I think if this does go to court, as the layers are peeled back and the Conservative involvement is exposed, it could stand to hurt her and her business.

sharonapple88 said...

She didn't want to be political with this legal action - hmmm....accepting money from Conservative supporters for her legal costs isn't political?

The guy running the site tries to get around it by saying he's not a part of the blogging Tories and that he's supported parties like the NDP.... but his argument of nonpartisanship falls apart when he says the following on his blog: "The bias is Canadian, Conservative, and atheist.// While I do generally support the Conservatives..."

The whole fact that she's willing to be associated with a person who's made statements in the past like "Warming is exaggerated and the alarmists are wrong" bugs me. As I said on another blog, I can understand Wright not wanting her company mixed up with a political party, but allowing her company to be associated with someone who doesn't believe that "global warming is by definition a bad thing"... somehow that's better?

wilson said...

Perception is everything in politics.
Tho the Libs have a decent argument, the perception is that the LPC is bullying a women and private business.
And, 'another' law suit against the LPC.

Now who looks like the bully?

sharonapple88 said...

Now who looks like the bully?

.... The people putting the law suits forward?

knb said...

Suffice it to say sharonapple, that he is anti-Liberal.

knb said...

wilson, that 'perception' was created out of whole cloth, by the Con's.

Sorry, the Con's have cornered the market on bullying.

Johnathon said...

Sue those librano bastards.

God damn thieves, trying to kill an honest business.

Stephane Dion thinks he is on top of the world.

He will be done as librano leader after the next election, and then another librano thief can try another platform.

I admit, I support Harper, but politics in Canada is so childish its impossible to take it serioulsy.

No FoxNews to ask hard questions.

How is it possible 60 percent of Canadians have not heard of the Dion tax grab?

I still believe that.

I guess CTV and CBC dont want people to know that his plan will NOT reduce GHG's.

Kind of puts his plan in the shitter.

The Right is Where its At said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Right is Where its At said...

KNB post 9:17 am

"KNB post 9:17 am

"In this case, it is noting that the word its in your nickname should be it's, for it is."

Thank you knb. I have done the correction on my blog but when I post for some reason it still comes out as its instead of it's. I would appreciate if you or anyone can help me how to correct it. Thank You!

knb said...

No FoxNews to ask hard questions.

Thanks for my morning laugh.

knb said...

Right, I wish I could help but I have no idea.

The Right is Where its At said...

KNB post 11:11 am

"Right, I wish I could help but I have no idea."

Thanks anyways;)