Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Green Shift: What Confusion?

Green Shift Bug

As noted in The National Post this morning “…in order to succeed in making a case for infringement, Ms. Wright will have to demonstrate that the Liberals’ use of the term “Green Shift” leads people to mistake or misunderstand the relationship between the organization, Green Shift Inc., and the Liberals’ Green Shift platform.”

According to Matt McGuire, Jennifer Wright the owner of GSI, purports that “clients that have subsequently stopped using the services of GreenShift as a result of the perceived affiliation with the Liberals.”

Now really… who could conceivably be dumb enough to confuse this company with the Liberals carbon tax policy? Are we to seriously believe that existing clients, companies that already have a business relationship with GSI and are therefore familiar with them, suddenly dumped Green Shift Inc. as a consultant or stopped buying their biodegradable coffee cups and what not because of this alleged confusion with the Liberals’ carbon tax policy?

Come on... seriously? To suggest that there’s legitimate marketplace confusion in this instance really strains credulity. Then again, maybe the people buying Green Shift Inc.’s products and services are, in fact, as the company’s claims would seem to indicate, dumb as a box of rocks. It could be possible...

Although it has to be said that it seems like a rather odd marketing strategy to suggest that your existing customer base and target demographic is comprised of the gullible, the naïve and the catastrophically stupid. But hey, what do I know…?

Update: Quel surprise that this dismal wanker would be on the warpath for a lawsuit. “The name “Green Shift” is a trademark,” Janke states. Well, that’s debatable as has been noted here previously. It’s not a registered trademark, but Green Shift Inc. does have fairly long-standing claims on the use of the expression in connection with various products and services. Janke is dead wrong however when he states that GSI “owns the trademark” given it hasn’t been registered as yet.

Moreover, where does Janke get off stating that “The Green Shift people are suffering real damage from Stephane Dion’s second known attempt at environmental plagiarism”? Do we know for a fact that GSI is actually “suffering” the alleged “real damage” as a result of enormous amounts of free publicity in the major newspapers across the country that almost uniformly casts the “nice, friendly little environmental organization” in the role of David battling Goliath? Seems a bit far-fetched to me.

As for “environmental plagiarism”… would that be like when the Conservatives “lifted” the name “ecoTrust” from a non-profit conservation organization in order to put a respectable face on their plan to funnel pork to the provinces under the guise of combating climate change? When will Stephen Harper learn that just because he likes another person’s ideas, his exaggerated sense of his own moral righteousness doesn’t give him the right to pass off those ideas as his?