Monday, June 23, 2008

D’oh! (Updated)

Green Shift… D’oh!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Update: Matt Goes Splat

In the finest “Malkinesque” fashion, it turns out that the flapdoodle over copyright infringement is all just a lot of unfounded bluster. Are you surprised?

A search of the CIPO website indicates that the trademark application by Green Shift Inc. (“GSI”) that was made on January 24, 2005 hasn’t been approved as yet. In fact, it hasn’t even moved beyond the examination phase (although the representative agent has changed several times). As noted by Catherine in the comments to this thread, who checked this out, “from all the correspondence and extensions noted, there appears to have been problems with registering this name well before anything to do with the Liberal Party.”

Indeed. Considering the exhaustive list of classifications, including both goods and services, that GSI is seeking approval for, it’s not in the least bit surprising that the application is taking so long to approve. Just a very small sample of the “wares” covered includes coffee; toilet paper; tissue paper; paper; kraft paper; recycled paper; writing paper; garbage bags; deodorizers; clothing; housewares; and urinal blocks. As for the “services” covered in the application, this includes all manner of consulting services in the fields of: environmental conservation; air quality issues; green roofs; indoor gardens; wildlife preservation; habitat management; business marketing services; business marketing services; education and awareness in the field of animal rights; manufacturing of environmental solutions to wasteful packaging; lawn and garden care; providing information in the fields of environmentalism and energy conservation; retail sale of waste reduction products; retail sale of energy efficient products; retail sale of biodegradable products; retail sale of recycled products; and so on.

Well, so much for that. Another trumped up, completely phony right-wing “controversy”… Oy.

Update: Or Maybe Not…

Hmmm. It seems that Green Shift Inc. — a “nice, friendly, environmental organization” — has in fact issued a cease and desist letter earlier this afternoon to the Liberal Party and is “considering whether to sue for damages.” Presumably, the company is concerned that the inadvertent association with the “crazy” Liberal carbon tax plan might imperil a contract they have with the Parliament Hill cafeterias, providing them with products such as recycled coffee cups.

Well, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on the Internet, but it seems to me that using the ridiculously broad list of conceivable goods and services listed in the company’s trademark application as a guide to what GSI feels the term “Green Shift” might conceivably be applicable to, that the “unique distinction” criterion is entirely absent here. Keep in mind that a trademark, properly called, “indicates source” or serves as a “badge of origin.” Now, would one be inclined to exclusively associate “Green Shift” on a urinal block (to use one example from their list of “wares”) with the same company that provides “consultation in the field of waste reduction and environmental assessments; consultation in the field of water and energy conservation” (again, just one example from their list of “services”)?

Definitely Worth Writing Down Update: Ted Hsu fires up Google and discovers that… can you guess? “Green Shift” is a rather generic term that’s been variously applied to: a transportation project associated with the ecoPerth initiative that’s sponsored in part by Transport Canada; the GreenShift Corporation which is an eco-technology company based in New York; an environmental task force in Manchester, U.K.; and so on.