Statement from the Liberal Party on the Green Shift lawsuit after the jump. It’s not yet available online, so I’ve included the full text. I’ll do the same if/when Green Shift Inc. puts out a release, or – better still – makes the statement of claim available on the website, which would save me typing out the whole thing:
LIBERAL PARTY RESPONDS TO GREEN SHIFT INC.
LONDON, Ontario – The Liberal Party of Canada believes it acted lawfully and honourably regarding the choice of the name Green Shift, the recently announced Liberal Plan to cut income taxes, put a price on pollution, fight poverty and position Canada to be a leader in the 21st century global economy, said Liberal Party of Canada President Doug Ferguson today.
“The use of the words ‘Green Shift’ have become synonymous with bold environmental policy throughout the world,” said Mr. Ferguson. “Our legal counsel has received the statement of claim and it is being reviewed at this time. However, in general terms, we believe that we have acted fully within the law in this matter.”
Mr. Ferguson was reacting to a lawsuit launched today against the Liberal Party by Jennifer Wright, the founder of Green Shift Inc., a Toronto-based environmental consulting firm. Ms. Wright is seeking a total of $8.75 million in damages, and a court injunction to stop the party from using or displaying the words Green Shift, or any other trademark or Internet domain name that is similar to the logo used by Green Shift Inc.
Mr. Ferguson noted that Green Shift Inc. does not have a registered trademark and that the Liberal Party is not using the words “green shift” in connection with the sale of any products or service, which is necessary to meet the legal test for trade-mark infringement.
“The Liberal Party has done nothing in announcing its ‘Green Shift’ that infringes on any valid trademark or other rights of Green Shift Inc. or any other company. In fact, Green Shift Inc. itself uses the words in a descriptive sense on its website,” said Mr. Ferguson.
Mr. Ferguson also said the widespread generic use of the words “green shift” or “green tax shift” has resulted in the right of anyone to use the words in so far as a tax plan is concerned.
“For example, last year, the UK announced a ‘Green Shift taskforce’ to combat the carbon dioxide emissions from the production, operation and disposal of personal computers. Do Green Shift Inc.’s claims also apply to the government of England?” he said.
“That being said, given our common interest and passion for the environment, we look forward to a reasonable and amicable resolution that is in the parties’ mutual interest,” said Mr. Ferguson.