Turns out there's big money in shifty business: Liveblogging the Green Shift Inc. press conference - Macleans.ca

Turns out there’s big money in shifty business: Liveblogging the Green Shift Inc. press conference


UPDATE: This Canadian Press story is a fabulous backgrounder, and will make the news conference make considerably more sense – well, as far as the questions go.

10:50:05 AM
Oh, Canadian Press, why must you be such a rebel? In case you’ve not yet seen the wire, the embargo went kaboom approximately ten minutes after we were sternly requested not to go live with the details until the plaintiff—Green Shift Inc. founder Jennifer Wright, in case you’re just joining the festivities—takes the microphone in the Charles Lynch press theatre.

Anyway, now that the organically-fed cat has been let out of the recycleable fair trade bag, I can reveal that she’s suing for the not-inconsiderable sum of $8.5 million, plus a quarter million in punitive and aggravated damages—and asking for a permanent injunction to prevent the Liberals from “passing off” the trademark, a statement acknowledging that they have “directed public attention” to their wares, services or business in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause confusion in Canada.”

10:58:26 AM

Two minutes to go!

11:02:48 AM
And she’s off, introducing herself as the founder of the real Green Shift, which is more than the name of her company, she says, but the program she has been building for the last ten years.

Interestingly, she refers to the Liberal “tax plan.” What an odd choice of words.

11:04:14 AM
She’s not here to discuss “Mr. Dion’s tax plan,” she says, but the lawsuit. So don’t be asking her any tricky questions about carbon taxes and cap-and-trade, y’all.

Who are all these companies and institutions that are “part of the Green Shift,” incidentally? She seems to use the term interchangeably – Green Shift, the company, and Green Shift, the “movement”.

11:06:56 AM
More background on the infamous call from “Liberal representative” Katie Telford who had the “audacity” to call her the night before to give her the heads up on the launch of the Liberal plan and “that fellow” Joseph Mayer. But Wright saves her most concentrated ire for “Who the Hell is Garth Turner?”, who had the nerve to write on his blog that she should be grateful.

11:09:29 AM
Question from Sun Media on how she arrived at the $8.5 million figure. “Marketing experts,” she says. Last year, business exceeded a million.

11:10:34 AM
Asked whether the launch has cost them actual business, she dodges the question; companies are “staying quiet” thus far, although some have asked her to keep their name out of it.

Ironically, she notes, the company has also worked with the Ontario Liberal Party, as well as the federal Liberals. (Maybe, she’s not sure.)

11:12:21 AM
Does she own the trademark? It has been applied for, but it’s not approved—although it has made it through “five” stages so far.

11:12:57 AM
Good question from CanWest: Doesn’t it bother her that the Green Party has a “Green Tax Shift”? No, is the upshot.

Being small, the company hasn’t been able to put advertising on “every” project out there, but there are “at least 15 million coffee cups out there” that were produced by Green Shift, Inc.

11:14:17 AM
Tim Naumetz brings up all those other uses of the phrase “green shift” and suggests that she has seen the term out there. Why does she have a right to the term? She’d be happy to explain, she says, but she really doesn’t. Apparently, there was a tussle over greenshift.com—owned by an American company—which the company eventually abandoned.

As for the British use, she… Is she seriously claiming to have invented the term “green shift”? She is. Wow.

11:17:36 AM
More from Tim, who has done his homework on what Green Shift, Inc. actually does: coffee cups and other supplies, which it provides to companies. “We’re here to be a program for those who want to be leaders,” she says. The symbol and the name Green Shift show that this is a company that people can trust.

11:19:46 AM
And now, Wright delivers short history of trademark law, and an attempt to explain why Elizabeth May’s “Green Tax Shift” is fine, but the Liberal “Green Shift” isn’t.

11:20:59 AM
The CBC’s Rosemary Barton tries to get her to comment on the Green Shift as a plan; she demurs, although she reminds us once again that she is an environmental consultant. “As for the tax plan,” she might be in favour of it; she doesn’t know. She’s not here to slam anyone else’s program, she’s here to get free publicity for her program. Sorry, I meant to get the Liberals to stop using “her” name.

11:23:44 AM
Naumetz wants to know what she means by “tackle” – as in, “tackling pollution.” It seems to involve “assessing” products, but also corporate reputations. “Nothing is closer to my heart than toilet paper,” she says, bafflingly, in mid-tangent about the work she’s done with the pulp and paper industry. She’s here to “harness the power of environmental leaders.” Wait, what?

11:25:47 AM
Asked which government agencies she worked for, she names the EcoLogo program and the US-based Green Seal, but that seems at least partially to have been during her career as an environmental auditor.

It just gets more confusing when Naumetz attempts to figure out exactly which department paid her to wander around asking “What’s in that carper?” “What’s in that flag?” I’m not going to transcribe the whole thing; let’s just say there are uncomfortable silences, and they’re not on Naumetz’s part.

11:29:22 AM
She says she had “offers” of pro bono legal help, but decided that she wanted “someone good”—ouch, poor nameless good samaritan trademark lawyers—and decided to stay with her original lawyer. She’s ready to fight til the bitter end, even if it “bankrupts” the company.

11:30:43 AM
“There’s been a lot of confusion in the media about the trademark versus the company name,” she notes. I have to say I’m still a little confused. “We’ve had to define things that aren’t in the dictionary,” she says, like “biodegradable”! Wait, in 2001, she had to explain to the trademark registrars what biodegradable meant?

The important point is that the Liberals have “done a lot of damage,” she says, which will require “cleaning” the Internet so that the Liberal plan isn’t the only hit that turns up.

“We’re not a common name out there yet,” she acknowledges, but it’s getting out there. People are starting to hear the phrase “green shift” and think of her company, apparently. Or were, until that dastardly Stéphane Dion ruined everything. It could cost as much as $10 million for the company to rebrand, she claims.

11:35:31 AM
SunMedia asks about the risk that the public will see this as the environmental movement “fighting amongst themselves,” which Wright readily agrees is “terrible … These are all our customers!” Really? Which ones, exactly? The lack of any tangible examples of any actual companies who have expressed concern, or pulled their business due to the controversy is… odd.

11:38:24 AM
Also odd, as Naumetz points out, is the absence of any Green Shift products. Where are the coffee cups, the posters, the stuff? Back at the hotel, apparently. “I’m not perfect, Tim,” says a grumpy Michael Krauss, who looks like he’d like this to wrap up soon.

She’s actually giving more details now, in response to queries about where we can actually see her coffee cups in the wild, but again, it’s hard to follow.

11:40:58 AM
Wait, what? Now she’s saying that “Green Shift” actually applies to a “network of companies” that are striving to be environmentally responsible. It’s also the name of her company, and the program offered, and a “concept.”

Meanwhile, Michael Krauss is handing out examples of the Green Shift poster, which was printed in 2008.

11:43:14 AM
Last question: she claims that the Liberal use of the term will “only damage” the company, which prompts her to deliver a rather esoteric manifesto on breaking down barriers—race, gender, you name it—and social justice. And on that inscrutable note, she and we are out of here.

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Turns out there’s big money in shifty business: Liveblogging the Green Shift Inc. press conference

  1. “Interestingly, she refers to the Liberal “tax plan.” What an odd choice of words.”

    You mean a familiar choice of words, huh?

  2. “Interestingly, she refers to the Liberal “tax plan.” What an odd choice of words.”

    Kady Why is that an odd choice of words? When you look at the green shift calculator, as T Thwim has just pointed out to me, it tells you how much you will save in taxes each year and how much/little you pollute is irrelevant.

  3. Ms. Wright seems like an amateur who, unfortunately, has been pushed by some greedy lawyers.

  4. Sounds like from her comments and her Q&A she as an agenda against the Liberal Party…funny that she has no problems with the Green party…and how did she arrive at $8.5 million in damages…what present value calculation did she use??

  5. Excellent completely reactionary commentary you got here Kady. I guess it’s too much for some people to actually listen to a speech… and then write a response. Better to write a response while the person is still talking instead of even pretending that you were listening intently, right?

    What a joke. No wonder media-based Canadian political discourse is in the toilet. And publishers wonder why readership is down… I mean, why would people pay for the same value they get from free Blogs?

  6. Surecure – that’s kind of the point of liveblogging, actually — to cover the event and react as it happens. Given the scratching of the heads and the general puzzledment on the part of other reporters in the room, I’m not sure if you can blame the confusion entirely on a failure to pay attention. I’ve followed far more complex issues and testimony at committees, trust me.

  7. I am curious to know if media is always this vigorous in its questioning or is it only when Liberals are threatened?

  8. You weren’t watching the news during Adscam or the Ralph Goodale thing?

  9. Adjust your tinfoil hat jwl

  10. Why would anyone be surprised that she has no problem with “Green Tax Shift”? That’s not the name of her company or her trademark…

    I am not a lawyer, nor do I play on on TV, but I’m pretty sure that her trademark rights don’t prevent the words “Green” and “Shift” from being in proximity of each other; “Green Shift” is the protected phrase.

  11. Great post Kady! This lawsuit is very very fishy!

  12. its the media’s responsibility to ask questions, and then to have the questions and the answers reported.

    Kady’s reporting on what reporters were asking, is quick, informative and rather witty.

    and by any measure, balanced.

  13. I have to say that while I didn’t have a hard time following the conference, my confidence in their spokesperson diminished the more she talked.

    Also, asking for 8.5 million when your revenue is slightly over one million? That’s a bit much.

    Good post Kady.

  14. Except if the goal of the suit is to prevent confusion, then she should first at least ensure that her own mishmash of stuff (is it a personal company, network of companies, leadership consulting firm, what?) isn’t enough to engender confusion on its own.

    And then there’s things like Green Shift music, which has apparantly been in business since 1970 or so down in Tampa, Florida. (Incidentally, looks like they’ve got an interesting selection of stringed instruments if you want one.. http://www.greenshiftmusic.com/)

  15. “The lack of any tangible examples of any actual companies who have expressed concern, or pulled their business due to the controversy is… odd”

    Why is that odd? Companies that might have given her business may have simply drawn their own conclusions that she is part of the Liberals “Green Shift” and decided on the spot they want nothing to do with her company, without bothering to tell her.

    Isn’t protection from that sort of thing part of the reason we have trademark laws?

  16. So, where is she getting this sudden bravado/funds for suing? Could it be from the Conservative supporters and climate change deniers who want to “get the Liberals” and have set up a donation fund for her legal expenses called “Victory Fund” like the Liberals’ Victory Fund?

    Is she accepting these donations? If so, is she not letting it get political?

  17. >I am curious to know if media is always this vigorous in its questioning or is it only when Liberals are threatened?<

    You were asleep since 1992 weren’t you? SprayPEC, Chretien chokes a protestor, media manipulation of budget surpluses, conflict with the RCMP, conflict with the Armed Forces over budgets, our reaction to 9/11, Shawinigate, the coverage of the Liberal Party in-fighting between Chretien and Martin, the flip flop on the GST, on NAFTA, our reaction to the invasion of Iraq, the Clarity Act, the referendum that necessitated the Clarity Act, MPs crossing the floor, AdScam, etc etc etc…

    If there was a speck of dirt to be found on a Liberal MP you can bet there was at least a week of media coverage about it.

  18. Kady, You sound mad this lady only seeks to protect her property. I wonder if you would be so concerned if it was the Conservatives using “Green Shift”?

    The “Green TAX Shift” is different…There’s a word in the middle of “Green” and “Shift”. D’uh!

    I suggest you start working on your obvious pro Liberal spin for your next visit at CBC. I do not recommend loathing that woman the way you do here…Although if it’s for the good of the Liberals and being on CBC and all…BUT stay away from suddently ridiculing the environment movement. Remember Dion wants to save the planet: It’s serious stuff. He might chew your ears like he did Garth’s albeit for different reasons.

  19. John D, T Thwim and Tiamat

    Jennifer Wright is not the government. Of course some questions are asked when tens of millions dollars are laundered through ad agencies or if a few investors profit from insider info only Libs had and leaked.

    Has Tom Zytaruk faced anything like this?

  20. If some people read something they don’t like, they will shout media bias. I’m sure jwl would think the National Post is too Liberal if they had a pundit who disagreed with anything they beleive. Thankfully, the Post doesn’t diverge much editorially.

    In some eyes, the only way Kady can be unbiased is to convict those evil, theiving Liberals before any trial happens and to demand they all be publicly flogged and all confess they were involved in Adscam.

    Anything less would show a Liberal bias.

  21. the “victory fund” in support of Ms. Wright is brillant, isnt it?

    Can there be any doubt that the Conservatives and thier operatives have and will do anything to distort, confuse and generally americanize our political culture…

    isnt this the real story of whats happening: how the Conervatives expunge any sense of progressiveness in thier party and replaced it with right wing operatives trained in republican tactics

  22. Good grief – the conservative paranoia rears its ugly head again…..sigh.

    Jennifer Wright is sure milking it, it seems.

  23. But she doesn’t actually have the copyright for that name yet — it’s in the process? so she does not have it.

  24. Tam – I’m no expert but I think a pending patent is still protected by law. It might ahve something to do which stage it is at.

    The issue will come down to the possibility of people being confused by the Green Shifts.

  25. Robert Fife, (noted media supporter of the Conservatives by many commenters here), looking very subdued, dismissed the lawsuit as a “publicity stunt” and not to be taken seriously.
    Also noted her past work with the NDP. Assumes she votes NDP. Wondered if other political parties are behind her efforts to embarrass the Liberals.

    Let the media whitewash and discrediting of Jennifer Wright begin. I hope she’s prepared for the level of scrutiny that she is about to be subjected to. I’m sure there is no shortage of media-funded backhoes digging for dirt on Ms. Wright.

  26. I think you were pretty rough on this person, Kady. I enjoy your liveblogging perhaps more than the next person but in this case you come across as overly protective of the Liberal Party. (To make a bald accusation:) )

    It’s not all that interesting that she would refer to a tax scheme as a tax scheme. What else would she call it? Honestly? She’s differentiating between her own company name and a masking of new taxes. She clearly wasn’t going to call it Green Shift — or you really would have attacked her — so the only name left was to call a tax, a tax.

    Two things I’m not impressed with: 1) You’re essentially attacking her premise and her version of events based on her poor performance in front of the media. To be fair, anyone in her position, in front of the cameras, lights, lady with heels and a blackberry, etc… would be nervous. But throw on top of that the fact that she’s ‘David’ up against a ‘Goliath’ that once ran the entire country for 13 consecutive tyrannical years. Give her a break.

    2) Who cares if she won’t tell you the names of companies that are uneasy? What’s the point? The story here is that she’s got a company with a name and that name is being ripped off so she’s taking action. Yes, she is alluding to others who are upset, but from a business perspective it wouldn’t make sense for her to single them out. “Honda: they called me yesterday to say they can’t stand the Liberal Party.” She doesn’t stand to benefit from releasing those details, which are actually quite minor in the whole of the story.

    Seriously, I get a kick out of the things you write and how witty you can be on the spot, but you’re belittling someone who is already little enough in this situation. Agreed, “biodegradable” was probably already in the dictionary, agreed, she probably mis-spoke at times. But guess what? You’re the wordsmith. She’s the environmentalist.

    I hope she wins at least a nominal settlement.

  27. SometimesYourFan:

    I take your points as to the David/Goliath aspect of the case – although I’d probably be more likely to use it if she didn’t keep repeating it, over and over, which is a little like calling yourself ‘humble’ – but if she’s going to claim $8.5 million in general damages, it would be helpful if she could give a *single example* of a company dropping her as a supplier since the launch of the Liberals’ Green Shift (although at this point, she’s probably done more to draw attention to the similarity between the names than anyone else).

    Then there’s the much-reported on contract to supply the House of Commons with coffee cups, which, as it turned out, simply didn’t exist(and full credit to Canadian Press for digging that one out), and her suggestion that the British government may have been inspired to use the phrase Green Shift in its own environmental program by the fact that some of her cups may have been in London. Certain elements of the story keep shifting (no pun intended), which has left me a bit sceptical.

  28. This is B-O-R-I-N-G.

    GiornoWatch is better. CadmanTapeGate too.

  29. Kady, is there any chance you (or, I guess, Macleans) could find a lawyer willing to guest blog this issue?

    I am not a lawyer, but from what I do understand about trademark law (hey, I’m a geek, so intellectual property issues are dear to my heart):

    You can’t trademark a “movement” or a “concept” (you can copyright a concept, but not trademark one), nor can you trademark a company name (that falls under trade name law, and the Liberals are in no danger here for stealing a company’s business name.)

    Let me give you an example. You can’t call your company “Pepsi” because of trade name law. You can’t call your beverage “Pepsi” because of trademark law.

    What’s at issue here is whether or not the brand of products called “Green Shift” is likely to be confused with the Liberal plan called “Green Shift”.

    I believe the Liberals would defend their use of the phrase “Green Shift” by arguing:

    a) No confusion is being caused as the Liberals aren’t selling anything (at least product/service wise). Trademark law is designed to prevent confusion in the marketplace, therefore it’s entirely legal to have two products/services called “Brand X” so long as both products are different enough that no one would confuse one with the other.

    b) Green Shift (the company) doesn’t have ownership of the term. This is more tricky, but if they can show the term is sufficiently generic then they can defeat the trademark all together. (Note: this isn’t the same as showing “prior art” as you would for striking down a patent).

    Green Shift, the company, would, of course, argue the opposite, as well as potentially argue that the Liberal’s use of the term “dilutes” their trademark — ie. makes the term “Green Shift” generic and therefore diminishes its value.

  30. I promise you, GiornoWatch will return! As for the Tale of the Tape, the latest twist appears to have spun itself out, but I remain poised in a state of catlike readiness, waiting to pounce if necessary (but not necessarily pounce).

  31. I second Johnny LaRusic’s request. I would love to hear the thoughts of a bona-fide trademark attorney on this case. Meaning one not dug up by the Star or CBC or G&M to dismiss it out of hand, nor one dug up by the Blogging Tories to call it a slam dunk

  32. I’ll see what I can do, although Johnny LaRusic managed to explain the basic dispute pretty nicely for a non-law talking guy.

  33. I hope for Ms. Wright’s sake that she doesn’t have any skeleton in her closet. We’ve seen what happens when amateurs decide to offer themselves up to national affairs reporters, naively thinking that the said reporters will stick to the lines fed to them.

    Can anyone say “julie couillard?”

  34. Kady,
    She does’nt have to reveal anything to the media at this stage except that she is filing a law suit again’st the Liberals after they first asked her if it was OK to use the name in which she told them “NO” and they ignored her anyway.

    You are trying to justify a potential copyright or at least patent pending infringement with:

    “Well, is it really hurting your business?”

    “Tell us which of your clients said that they would be hurt and we will decide if your action is justifiable”

    I guess laws are in place for the ordinary folk only. The Liberal party of Canada need not worry.

    It reminds me of one of the Spinal Tap players asking Metallica if it was OK for them to use “Metallica” on the cover of their next album: “To make tons of money like you guys…”

  35. I’d love to know who her lawyer is. Any chance of getting her actual statement of claim posted?

  36. Regardless of the outcome of this lawsuit, it’s pretty disgusting how the Liberals treated this woman and her company just because they happened to like the name she has built her brand around.

    A one day notice, with a magnanimous promise that it would “help her business”, is the kind of arrogance I would have expected from Chretien or Martin.

    I thought Dion was supposed to be a kinder, gentler, more decent, less arrogant leader than his predecessors. I guess some things never change.

  37. “She does’nt have to reveal anything to the media at this stage except that she is filing a law suit again’st the Liberals after they first asked her if it was OK to use the name in which she told them “NO” and they ignored her anyway.”

    You are as naive as they come, green slime. Had she just filed her paperwork and left it to her lawyer to respond to media calls, I’d probably agree with you. But she chose to come to Ottawa and hold a press conference in the Lynch room.

    She’s now fair game for what is sure to come her way…

  38. john g, you seem to forget that your own party is guilty of the same infringement on TWO separate occasion.

    Wanna rethink that one?

  39. boudica…

    Please provide details. Include any lawsuits that had to be filed in order to get them to cease and desist.

  40. Mmmmrrrrroooowwww ..!!!!!

    Really Kady … your Liberal red panties are showing when you claw away at poor Jennifer Wright with the power of your pen .. er keyboard.

    Have you ever thought that Dion’s ‘Green Shift’ is actually a ‘Tax Shift’ .. and nothing more?? After all, Dion does not commit himself to any reduced GHG targets in his scheme, but he does define the taxation regime he intends to impose on Canadians .. all because past Liberals failed to hold down Canada’s GHGs.

    Yes, Kady .. If Canada wasn’t 30% over our 2012 Kyoto GHG targets courtesy of past Liberal governments, we wouldn’t need a punitive Carbon Tax. Oh but wait … CP-Decima polling confirms that Canadians want to be carbon taxed …!!!

  41. I normally enjoy your sarcasm Kady but this time you come across as a bully. Why are you picking on this business woman trying to protect her rights in the business world.Does the Canadian Charter of rights support this business woman or only to the Liberal Party?

  42. I’m glad she sounded like an amateur. If an environmental entrepreneur who sounded like a polished, on-message sockpuppet politician like van Loan would have been suspicious.

    Politicians that come across like amateurs on the other hand… they are not disturbing, merely disappointing.

  43. john g, do you have amnesia or something? You’ve already asked me this and I already provided you that information.

    The O’Jays song in one attack ad and the use of EcoTrust as a name for an environmental program.

    Is it coming back to you now?

  44. Yes, I remember. I just can’t believe you cited them as examples.

    Are you really that dense? My complaint with the Liberals behaviour is not the infringement itself, it’s the nastiness with which they perpetrated it. They knew about the name and didn’t care that it mattered to some pesky little environmentalist. The last minute BOHICA phone call. The tiny disclaimer on their web site. The ignoring of “cease and desist” requests. If they had contacted her up front they might have come to some agreement.

    Compare and contrast the Conservatives. They backed down on EcoTrust at the first sign of complaint, and settled amicably with the rights owner of the O’Jays song. They made a couple of mistakes and rectified them with no ill will on the offended parties and no lawsuits required.

    But by all means, please continue to defend the Liberals behaviour on this file. It speaks volumes more about you than it does about them.

  45. Conservatives are suffering a case of the blues today. Thick skin for anyone that is not of blue blood.

  46. Forgive me, Kady. I commend you on your ability to listen intently to reporter question, digest the response Ms. Wright provides, gauge the reactions of the other reporters in the room so vividly and then compose messages posted at overlapping 30 second to 2 minute intervals.

    Do you think perhaps you’re projecting your own confusion on other people because you don’t have enough time to think before you type? I mean, even if we assume Ms. Wright spoke in only 15 to 30 second sound bites (not likely but possible), do you really expect anybody to believe you thought about what she said and gauged the room before you wrote a out response. I mean, besides the fact that your words read fairly canned?

    Translation: thank you, but I don’t want to buy swampland today.

  47. Did anyone see the 3 “ladies” on CTV Newsnet discuss this? They had this poor lady ready to be tarred and feathered because of her effrontery.

    Look at the tone of the questions of the national media. I have never seen the media so eager to support Goliath.

    Then again, maybe Canadian journalists are that very rare unbiased beast and all that Liberal watercarrying is as coincidental as all the Liberals hanging around this blog.

    The Canadian media have lost any tiny bit of credibility they may have had since Harper was elected. And deservedly so.

    Good and bad politicians and political party’s come and go, but democracy needs a media that acts as a watchdog for the people.

    Regardless of what you may think of the governments actions vis a vis the media, there is no excuse for the media’s reaction. It is impossible to have any faith in such a vindictive, petty, self-centered, juvenile, partisan bunch.

    Sadly, in Canada, the media are a watchdog for the ruling party. Amazing what people will do for a paycheque.

  48. Sorry Catherine but quite frankly today is great a day to be a Conservative as the Lib’s, Greenies and NDP’ers are all busy fighting each other and in the meantime our PM is earning international credits for getting the Yanks and Ruskies on board and it’s a beautful day in Victoria – not feeling too blue here though I must admit I do like the colour.

  49. You people are acting like Kady tracked this woman down to beat her up. She CHOSE to hold a freaking press conference – that is not a necessary step in a law suit. You can’t hold a press conference and then be mad when the press expects you to be able to answer basic questions.

  50. john g, right. So the Tories did the same but the issue is that the Libs are “nasty” about it.

    john g, someone here is indeed quite dense. That we can agree on.

  51. Than, Wayne, spread the word to your blue blood friends. Leave Kady alone. She is doing her job.

  52. What exactly do people expect when they click on “liveblogging?”

    “Do you think perhaps you’re projecting your own confusion on other people because you don’t have enough time to think before you type? I mean, even if we assume Ms. Wright spoke in only 15 to 30 second sound bites (not likely but possible), do you really expect anybody to believe you thought about what she said and gauged the room before you wrote a out response. I mean, besides the fact that your words read fairly canned?”

  53. “You people are acting like Kady tracked this woman down to beat her up. She CHOSE to hold a freaking press conference – that is not a necessary step in a law suit. You can’t hold a press conference and then be mad when the press expects you to be able to answer basic questions.”

    John D, you are wasting your time. Cons always view themselves as the victim when it comes to media coverage.

    I’m with you. Jennifer Wright stupidly opted to invite press gallery members – who are notoriously tough in their scrutinization – to witness her delivery to the LPC headquarters and then, she holds court in the Lynch room.

    Had it been me, I would have had my docs delivered by courrier and referred all calls to my lawyer. I most certainly wouldn’t have held a press conference on Parliament Hill.

    The woman is now fair game and it is all her own doing.

  54. God, I hate liveblogging. I’d rather watch it live, or read a well thought out article review after the fact.

  55. In that case, Dennis, don’t let the door hit you on your rear end on the way out of here…

  56. Actually, there wasn’t a lot that was new in what she said at the press conference – especially given the Canadian Press story from the day before, which should have resulted in her being better prepared to handle those kinds of questions. We’ve got a dollar figure for the lawsuit – $8.5 million – and that’s about it.

    Honestly, if I’d known Newsworld was going to broadcast the press conference live – did CTV NewsNet as well? – I probably wouldn’t have liveblogged it, since I like to focus on events that otherwise *wouldn’t* be covered – at least, not in minute by minute detail.

  57. Catherine : I am sorry but your post makes no sense to me am I missing something here? First I would never disrepsect Kady as I like her style too much and so far I can’t stay away from her articles for more than a day or so? As well the posts above that seem to disagree with her or whatever you want to call it do not appear to me to be partisan? sorry …

  58. “The important point is that the Liberals have “done a lot of damage,” she says, which will require “cleaning” the Internet so that the Liberal plan isn’t the only hit that turns up.”

    Did she really say that? Because I wonder if she’s googled her own company lately. Can you claim your company doesn’t show up in internet searches when it’s actually the number one hit for “green shift”, the number four hit for “the green shift” and the little blurb that shows up on Google for thegreenshift.ca says “It is not affiliated with Green Shift Incorporated. The following is a link to the Green Shift Incorporated website: http://www.greenshift.ca“?

  59. SYF: It’s very possible you missed my earlier post on the subject, which I wrote the day the story first broke, but that’s pretty much exactly what I said the Liberals should have done – and should do – as far as resolving the issue in a reasonably amicable manner. Not sure if that’s still possible, but obviously, that would be best for everyone — Green Shift, the Liberals, our overloaded court system.

    Oh, and I actually didn’t find her presentation to be that bad at all – she was much more comfortable behind the podium than a lot of veteran politicians. But if you can’t answer the questions that reporters are going to ask — especially basic ones, like, ‘can you explain how your company has lost business’ – then you’d probably be better served by a press release.

  60. Ah — I did miss your comments from yesterday.

    Good call.

    You win, you’re officially better than Julie Van Dusen.

  61. >You win, you’re officially better than Julie Van Dusen.<

    WTH is up with this? Is this really the forum to attack journalists who don’t even work for this magazine? Who aren’t even mentioned in the blog post?

  62. Difficult to understand the $8.5 Million damage tag … She’s quoted as saying her business ”dragged for 7 years, until this past year, when her revenues were in the order of $1.5 Million (Gross).” I ‘spose, with a customer base of only 299, that’s possible. I do think her financial statements will become subject to a full review … if, and only if, she can prove her business plan was really compromised. I, for one, don’t see it. However, I can see $8.5 million eaten up by legal arguments and repetitive, “held overs.”

  63. Good blogging, Kady. The questions prove the pro-Liberal bias in the media. Had this been the conservatives ripping off a company name, you would have been asking this person if “Harper’s bullies” tried to threaten the company or pay them off. It would have been portrayed as “David vs. Goliath” and the green shift as a poor victim. Instead she is greedy, tells lies, and may have a Tory affiliation because she is taking on the Liberals.

    We have a liberal press gallery that tries to ridicule conservative marketing efforts (oily the spot) and tries to drive in scandal about the issue through whether or not they bought ads on gas pumps. But when the Liberals clearly did not do their due diligence in their marketing effort, you guys are going to let them off the hook!

    You wonder why the PMO has problems with you guys! I don’t know how anyone can’t see the double-standard.

  64. boudica <—- playing the violin as Jim laments over the perpetual persecution of conservatives by the media.

  65. Odd isn’t it.

    A bunch of people who have never posted here before suddenly show up saying they usually really like Kady’s blogging, except for this particular one, which appears to each and every one of them to be shockingly pro-Liberal.

    Gosh, sounds a bit like an organized campaign of some sort, doesn’t it?

    Also intersting is that Green Shift’s PR person is none other than Michael Kruass, a former Mulroneyite and long-time Conservative PR meister.

    I’m sure it’s all just coincidental. I’m sure she’s not a partisan combattant relishing her moment in the spotlight, she’s just an aggrieved small biz lady lost in the fog of politics.


    – JV

  66. Boudica I cant speak for any other conservatives here but I don’t think media is persecuting Conservatives. I am a conservative/libertarian, depending on the issue, and I believe the media should hold the government’s feet to the fire because I don’t really trust any politician.

    What I do have a problem with is the fawning the media displays towards the Liberals. If the media were as vigorous with the Liberals as they are with any other party, than we would a decent media.

  67. Yeah, I have to say that I’d appreciate it if commenters could restrict attacks on individual journalists to this one. That seems fair. As for your complaints about the media, Jim, I suspect if you check the coverage of this story since it first surfaced – the week after the launch of the Liberals’ Green Shift – you’ll find that both sides have acknowledged that Green Shift was contacted by the Liberals before the website went live (although there is some dispute over what day). Jennifer Wright has never suggested that there was any attempt at bullying, and has given a fairly thorough account of the conversation that took place, so – yeah, I don’t really think your point is as valid as it perhaps could be. I’d say the coverage has been fairly balanced so far. But then again, as far as you’re concerned, I *would* say that, wouldn’t I? (If I believed in emoticons, there would be one right here.)

  68. Really, Kadie.

    This is not worthy of you.
    Shouldn’t waste your time and talent on this tripe.
    Take the rest of the day off.
    Try a golf lesson.
    Let all your cave-dweller friends ponder their
    navel lint for a while.

  69. JWL, it was the media that covered 5 years of alleged scandal and Gomery that resulted in the election of the Conservatives. Were the pro-Liberal then, and just forgot for a while?

    I think the reality is actually quite simple: media don’t care much about parties, what they care about are stories.

    And generally speaking, with a few exceptions, after the initial honeymoon for a new government, the opposition parties almost always generate better stories than the government. That’ what gets covered.

    So Conservatives had a fun time when they were in Opposition smearing the Liberals, and the media was happy to play along and repprt it day after day.

    Now that the Conservatives are in power, media are less fun for them.

    But don’t worry, the Conservatives will soon be back in Opposition,a nd the medai will be happy to then report whatever smears they wish to make, and let the chips fall where they may.

    – JV

  70. Kady, is your lack of belief in emoticons a purely existential one?

  71. Hey, it’s make-work again at CON central war room.
    All those busy fingers that hammered poor ol’ Ms Wright upon Dion’s announced ‘Green Shift’ coming out party, sneering at her as tho they were clients or something and basically filling in the gap of her clients, who as far as we know could give a rats ass (she provided no details of such), now they’re out and about picking on Kady for doing her usual profound and clever thogging (hat tip to Potter, i think)…
    Why don’t you CONs start a 12-step program to get over the anger of the NEP… And get your party to debate the issues instead of playing ‘Swift boat’ games?
    Stand up for Canada, really.

  72. JV The media covering Adscam does not prove anything. Of course the media is going to write about tens of million dollars being laundered.

    It is the little things that give away media bias. Compare the treatment that Jennifer Wright got today with Tom Zytaruk. Ms Wright is asked hard questions, rightfully so, but Mr Zytaruk gets the ‘why would he lie’ treatment and is barely questioned at all.

    I think Kady’s coverage has been excellent. She just reported what she heard/saw at the press conference. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with Fife calling conservatives knuckle draggers, and today saying it was all a publicity stunt, but I am supposed to believe he is ‘neutral’.

  73. I’m sorry… are you suggesting that Bob Fife has a liberal bias?!?!?!?!?!?

  74. no boudica, I’m sure the Conservatives paid him to call them “knuckle draggers” and muse once again about the mythical “hidden agenda” on the CTV National News.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZYCra_DdfQY (from about the 1:00 mark onwards).

  75. 1. Zytaruk didn’t drop a huge lawsuit on anyone. Money involvement makes for more interest by the press.
    2. Zytaruk didn’t hold a press-conference to get his side of the story out. Press-conferences make for more interest by the press.
    3. Zytaruk *has* responded to requests for interviews and delivered his side of the story. Not ducking interviews make for less interest by the press.
    4. When being interviewed, he has on occasion been asked about the veracity of the tape. He provides answers to the questions that seem reasonable — or in other words, don’t leave a lot of room for follow up. Reasonable, boring answers make for less interest by the press.

    Basically, when Zytaruk is asked questions about the audiotape where Harper admits he was aware of members of his party offering financial considerations to Chuck Cadman to bring down the government, he answers the questions with enough detail and frankness that there’s nothing left to ask. The press would basically have to say, “You’re lying, what’s the real story?” which isn’t their job.

    In Ms. Wright’s case, she’s avoided answering questions which leads to further questions, chief among them being “Why are you not answering our questions?”

  76. Holy Crap do none of you people have jobs? Kady gets paid to do this.
    And can we leave her underwear out of it.

    She sez she has a good lawyer…
    Stop giving press conferences that destroy our case.

  77. Wow, or more like Whoa, chill out people. In my experiance some ordinary people go a little bit nuts when dealing with lawyers or the media. No responsible lawyer told her to launch a trademark infringment suit several times larger than her annual revenue. Just like no responsible marketing expert told her to hold a badly prepared news conference in Ottawa during the silly season. Ms W. is clearly making her own decisions and any party loyalty she may feel has not moved her to consult a party strategist. Also theres no way that the cost of her customer confusion is anything as bad as Mr. Dions customer confusion. So if some party hacks are trying to make her seem more sad and pathetic than the Liberal Party of Canada, they have a lot more work to do.

  78. Wow, or more like Whoa,

    or maybee Whooee!

    Is she seriously claiming to have invented the term “green shift”? She is. Wow.

    In 1996, John Farmer published a book entitled “Green Shift: Towards a Green Sensibility in Architecture”.

    It’s still in print and available from Amazon.

    I figger there was never a case but, like Kady sez, “She’s not here to slam anyone else’s program, she’s here to get free publicity for her program.”

    More power to her! We need creative business people who seize guerrilla marketing strategies and can get the MSM’s attention. I hope she sells a million dixie cups.


  79. This seems to have become more of a political forum, unfortunately. Can’t we just have a little sympathy for a hard working small busines woman who is defending her brand from a percieved theft? She may very well be a Liberal herself [make that ex-Liberal]. The point is she is doing what she can to protect what belongs to her. Think if you were defending your own property, say your house. What would you do? Maybe next time it will be you.

  80. David, why does she need sympathy or money? Where is the damage? She had a news conference and was unable to provide a single concrete example of a loss she experienced as a result of the supposed confusion.

    Trademarks are in place to prevent another business from using your name to sell a similar product, not so a company can buy up sections of the language to control the use of certain words in any context.

  81. Is she seriously claiming to have invented the term “green shift”? She is. Wow.

    Besides the book, Green Shift Music says they have used that name since the 70’s. I notice the UK has a government program called Green Shift, a Green Shift Taskforce, Greenshift Computers, Green Shift Books, a concerned citizens group Green Shift,…

  82. The only damage that to-date has been verified was actually inflicted by busy CON bloggers and phone diallers — obviously available after Oily went ‘splat!’ — who bombarded her company with faux outrage and fearmongering… Like you CONs would pay .05 cents more for an environmentally friendly dixie cup.

  83. Do any of you morons ever think before you post ? If I had a business where I was losing customers because they thought I was associated with a political party, the very LAST thing I would do is start throwing the names of those customers all over the media. They are teed off enough at me already, and any extra publicity would ensure that I would NEVER get their business back.

    Inconvenient for the media, maybe, since you can’t then go and ask those customers for their views, but hey, suck it up. She does not need to provide any details until she makes it into court, and it can probably be done on the basis of numbers, not names, at that point.

  84. Doesn’t she need to prove that it might really cost millions of dollars to repair the damage? Besides arn’t trademark damage awards related to how much the guilty party has made from the infringment. Like when the World Wildlife Fund made the World Wrestling Federation change it’s name bacause both operations were using the initials WWF to make money.

    Should commercial law be strangling normal public relations practice? If parlimentary speech is protected from libel suits shouldn’t political imagry be above trademark law? And if she is trying to start a movement why not negotiate with the Liberals instead of excluding them. It sounds a little like she offers to help wasteful products, like paper cups seem better by using recycled content. Hands up anyone who’s seen a paper cup recycling bin next to a water or coffe machine.

  85. “Interestingly, she refers to the Liberal “tax plan.” What an odd choice of words.”

    Wendy Mesley used them tonight on the National.

  86. Ok, I’ve beeen previously censored from not following the posting rules so here goes my (hopefully) p.c. comment.

    I will preface my comment by stating that I am not a trademark lawyer (e.g. temper your rebuttals with that in mind).

    I believe that the LPC lawyers have (actually) got it right! There is no trademark infringement in this case.

    There are several (well known and easily accessible by a google search) examples of words that are in the common lexicon, and therefore are considered “unpatentable” (or trademarkable [if that indeed is a wor]).

    You may not like it, but that doesn’t mean it is illegal, regardless of your politics.

    Oh, and you ROCK Kady! You go girl! ;)

  87. It appears that Jennifer Wright is adamant about the Liberals relinquishing the “Green Shift” label, because that taints her business with political involvement. She intends to fight it out in court if need be “to the point of bankruptcy”, if I understood her correctly.

    Looks like the Liberal party will have to go to court to save their “Green Shift” plan title, because if they lose that will deep six the whole shlemazl.

    Dion is fighting for his political life now because if the Liberals are forced to change the name, that will be it … and if they persist in using the name, that will be even worse when the courts judgment is rendered.

    With over $12 Million in lawsuits pending, the Liberal party will be financially hamstrung going into the future and trying to raise funds and qualify for bank loans too. Grim ….

  88. Observant: I’d like to enter this debate with an acknowledgement that we are entering new ground.

    Trademark infringemnet used to be a fairly uncomplicated affair.

    If I ran a successful company called “Compos Butchers”, selling organic meats and after a few years of struggling to establish myself as a quality premium butcher, someone else opens up another butcher shop next door to me called “Compost Butchers”, I would have an open & shut case.

    Easy to enforce trademark infringement in this situation, isn’t it?

    But we are now living in the internet age.

    Which opens up a whole new world of markets. Markets that were (previously) geologically distinct from another (which is what the majority of trademark law is based upon (e.g. a name in UK is “distinct” from the same name in Canada). (a simplistic example, but bear with me)

    The digital (internet) age changed all that. Suddenly we are all neighbours (just a mouseclick away).

    Opens up huge markets.

    Creates HUGE problems (from a trademark perspective).

    So, how to decide on who’s the real villian here?

    In the end, it depends upon your politics, I suppose.

  89. “There are several (well known and easily accessible by a google search) examples of words that are in the common lexicon, and therefore are considered “unpatentable” (or trademarkable [if that indeed is a wor]).”

    Compos, if that were true then wouldn’t her trademark application have been rejected? I believe it has been recently approved, has it not?

  90. john g: I haven’t heard anything about it being approved – only that she has (recently) applied for one.

    I know when the Winter Olympics came to Calgary, the IOC tried to shut down any business with the name “Olympic” in it (for trademark infringement). There was a Greek restuarant that changed its name – only because they didn’t want to incur the costs of litigation (the IOC has very deep pockets). After the Olympics, they changed it back.

  91. Unless I’m mistaken, this would seem to suggest that it was applied for in 2005 and approved on June 27 2008.


  92. I can understand Wright not wanting her firm to be associated with a political party but it might be too late for that.

    Given that it has now been widely reported that Con bloggers were behind the calls/emails she received and she, herself, told of several Con offers to provide financial assistance, not to mention Michael Krauss being hired as her PR person, many people will assume that she is politically motivated.

    I just read that Diane Ablonczy released a statement of support for Wright.

    Whether this was her intent or not, she has politicized her product.

    I’m still trying to understand how any lawyer worth his salt would have allowed to hold a media event of the likes we saw yesterday.

  93. john g: I stand corrected.

    So I gues what is at stake is whether Ms. Wright can prove trademark infringement.

    From http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm#7:

    “f a party owns the rights to a particular trademark, that party can sue subsequent parties for trademark infringement. The standard is “likelihood of confusion.” To be more specific, the use of a trademark in connection with the sale of a good constitutes infringement if it is likely to cause consumer confusion as to the source of those goods or as to the sponsorship or approval of such goods. In deciding whether consumers are likely to be confused, the courts will typically look to a number of factors, including: (1) the strength of the mark; (2) the proximity of the goods; (3) the similarity of the marks; (4) evidence of actual confusion; (5) the similarity of marketing channels used; (6) the degree of caution exercised by the typical purchaser; (7) the defendant’s intent.”

  94. thanks compos.

    It would appear to me that her claim is weak on point 1, strong on point 2, rock solid on point 3, 4 is debatable, not sure about 5 or 6.

    The defendant’s intent? I wonder how “taxing Canadians back to the stone age (literally)” will fly as a defense.

  95. John G, Compos Mentis

    I have been reading your back and forth and it got me thinking about trade marks. CM’s post of Harvard website, while useful, is about American law. I just searched around for Canadian equivalent and this was the best I could find:


    I am no lawyer, and have no clue about trademark law, but it seems Ms Wright has a case. Whether she wins, or loses, I have no idea but it appears she has good cause to launch lawsuit.

  96. jwl, if you are not a lawyer and “have no clue about trademark law,” how can you possibly know whether Wright has a case?

  97. Reading about trademark law.

  98. john g:

    Actually, the trademark’s not *quite* approved yet. It needs to reach “Registered” status before it’s all finalized. Here’s the list of steps in the application process:


    The mark is currently at step #3 and #4: “Advertising” and “Opposition”. It will be (has been?) published in Trademarks Journal where, for the next two months, interested parties may contest the application.

    Confusing, huh? “Approved” here means “approved for publication”.

    Also, is “the proximity of the goods” factor a strong point for Mrs. Wright’s case? Given that the Liberal Party isn’t selling any goods or services, I’d say “no”.

    The “the degree of caution exercised by the typical purchaser” factor also a weak point, given that Green Shift appears to primarily deal with businesses and not individual consumers.

  99. We’ve already clarified that jwl has difficulties understanding what he reads. A quick read of section 6 of the trademark act demonstrates that this has happened yet again.

    Most notable in the act for the allegation of confusion is the requirement that the wares and services being offered by the groups in conflict could be attributable to the same person. Now, I’m not sure that even the BT’s could be confused as to whether a private business was offering a governmental policy on carbon taxation and income tax refunds, or as to whether the Liberal Party of Canada was selling disposable coffee liners. But I’ve overestimated them before.

  100. But jwl, you are the one who said you were clueless on that subject. So I’ll ask again, how can you possibly be able to determine that she has a case?

  101. wow that is confusing. thanks johnny.

    however, it seems fair to say that she’s past the point where she could be rejected because the term “green shift” is not trademark-able because of general usage. my read of that site is that she would have been rejected for that at step 2.

  102. So… She served her statement of claim BEFORE having her trademark application approved?!? And she has not had any loss of business?

  103. And whether she is politically motivated or not; someone will always claim political motivation when a political party is involved in something like this (see Elections Canada vs Tories; RCMP vs Liberals); and in this case there may even be. But any presense or absense of political motivation completely misses the point

    A read of the trademark site says that if you have a trademark, you have to protect it. You are pretty much obligated to defend any infringement of it to the extent that you can.

    I would hope that even some of the most blindly partisan Liberals among us have to admit that at least the possibility for confusion exists, and that there is reasonable grounds to at least suspect an infringement has occurred.

    If her business WERE to be adversely affected, the first question anyone would ask her is “well, why didn’t you sue them for using your good name”?

    It’s a bit sad that so many here and in the media are slagging her for possible political motivation (even if it does exist), when really she is pursuing, what appears to me, to be the only option the Liberals have left available to her. She asked nicely. She sent a cease and desist letter. She was ignored. What else is she supposed to do?

  104. “And whether she is politically motivated or not; someone will always claim political motivation when a political party is involved in something like this (see Elections Canada vs Tories; RCMP vs Liberals); and in this case there may even be. But any presense or absense of political motivation completely misses the point”

    Excuse me, john g, but it is Jennifer Wright herself who claimed that her main motivation behind this move is that she fears that her current clients and potential new ones wouldn’t want to be associated with a product that has been politicized, yes?

    I’m simply expanding on an earlier point I made which was that the media event she organized yesterday pretty much sealed her fate in terms of being viewed as politically motivated.

    I’m not speaking to the merit of her case because, like jwl, I’m clueless about trademark laws.

    I’m just saying that the woman seriously shot herself in the foot during that press conference. The clip running on CBC yesterday had her saying that “green shift” is more of a concept than a company and that there is indeed a limited pool for terminology to be used when speaking about environmental concerns.

    How is that supposed to help her case?

  105. “A read of the trademark site says that if you have a trademark, you have to protect it. You are pretty much obligated to defend any infringement of it to the extent that you can.”

    john g, didn’t we just go over the fact that she DOES NOT have the trademark yet?

  106. “Excuse me, john g, but it is Jennifer Wright herself who claimed that her main motivation behind this move is that she fears that her current clients and potential new ones wouldn’t want to be associated with a product that has been politicized, yes?”

    Agreed…but that doesn’t speak to her own political motivation. That speaks to her motivation to protect her business from others political motives.

    “I’m simply expanding on an earlier point I made which was that the media event she organized yesterday pretty much sealed her fate in terms of being viewed as politically motivated.”

    I would tend to agree with you on this.

    Though she may be saavy enough to know that given the media’s tendency to protect the Liberals from political embarrassment, without this “media event” we would likely never hear very much about this lawsuit.

    Even with the presser, the G&M did not even put this story on their website’s landing page yesterday. You had to click through to “National” to find it buried in the politics section.

    And as a businesswoman, I’m quite sure she wants not just the free publicity of having this in the news, but also the fact that the more this case is in the news, the more it helps her ultimate goal of eliminating confusion.

    The media, in protecting the Liberals from embarrassment, is actually hindering the Liberals cause, since the more publicity she gets, the less chance for confusion and the weaker her legal case is.

  107. boudica, if trademarks are anything like patents you are afforded protection during the application process itself. Therefore you still have to protect your application even if its not approved yet.

  108. john g, can I just say that speaking with you is as boring as it gets because you invariably come back to your the-media-is-bias line. I’m beginning to think that you use this line whenever you run out of arguments.

    My point was simple. Jennifer Wright claims to have started all this because she doesn’t want her company linked to a political party. I am suggesting that holding a press conference/photo op like the one she did yesterday will have caused her company more damage on that front than the LPC’s climate change policy ever could. Add to that the fact that you now have a CPC junior Minister writing press releases in support of her claim.

    She has now become a “tool” for the CPC against the Libs’ green shift – or, at least, she will now be viewed as such.

    Had she done what most people do in these circumstances, which is to send the Statement by courrier to the LPC headquarters and refer media calls to her lawyer, she would likely have come out of this with an out-of-court settlement and smelling like roses.

    She might still get that settlement, if the LPC has any sense, but you better believe that the kind of media exposure she sought will cost her future business.

  109. john g: Green Shift’s mostly there with the application, but someone could file an opposition to the application.

    Filing an opposition is $750 (!!!) but given the amount of publicity this case has received I think Mrs. Wright can expect some challengers.

    Given the speed of our court system, it’s unlikely this case will see an end before the next election. And after that, Dion and Liberals, win or lose, will have little use of the phrase anymore.

    I suppose Green Shift and Mrs. Wright are hoping a judge will order a temporary injunction against the Liberal’s use of the phrase while the case worms its way through the system.

  110. OK, this is best site with respect to Canadian law that I could find: http://www.advertisinglawyer.ca/trademark.htm.

    So, from what I can make of this, Ms. Wright has a “confusing trademark”, or at best, a “weak trademark”, which makes legal enforcement difficult.

    A strong trademark would be something like “Kodak”, which is a unique word (unlike Green Shift).

    And I believe she still has to prove that her customers would mistake the LPC’s web site for hers?

    Just my (very unlawyerly) humble opinion.

  111. Compos: I believe (as another non-lawyer… where’s a trademark lawyer when you need one?) you’ve got the right idea.

    Wright’s asking 8.5 million “in general and special damages” and “$250,000 for aggravated and punitive damages.” For that 8.5 million, I she’d have to demonstrate actual loss of business of that amount.

    It’s unlikely, if successful, she’d get the full amount (makes for a good headline though, huh?). It’s also possible she could win and get $0 if a judge isn’t convinced Green Shift lost any business as a result of the infringement (a judge could, of course, award money for putative damages though).

    Man, it’s times like this I wish I went into law instead of math… :-)

  112. I doubt it will get to that. Unless Wright is a complete imbecile, she will accept the Libs’ olive branch and settle out of court.

  113. Whooee! An environmental advocate travels 350 km to deliver a handful of papers? Gimme a break. This is a pure PR play – guerrilla marketing. The green thing would be to send the papers by registered mail or bonded courier and hold a press conference at the company’s headquarters. Of course, the coverage would not be nearly as good as when she shows up in person in Ottawa.

    It’s all about getting publicity.

    Corporate event planners concerned with their clients’ eco-image will be sure to use biodegradable dinnerware now that the public is aware of its availability. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I hoe she and other suppliers of eco-friendly goods get a boost out of this.


  114. I think this situation has Dion in a terrible place. If he changes the name of his tax plan (as this is what it is) to say Green Tax Shift it looks awful as it give the impression and appeareance that the Liberals can’t even announce an idea without them falling all over themselves (which they do already) then again if they settle out of court they will probably have to shell out a few bucks which the party can ill afford at this time so what do we have here = bad hair day!

  115. I think Wright really blew it… at best she came across… weird.