Tag Archives: Green Shift

Shifty Business

“Nothing is closer to my heart than toilet paper”
Jennifer Wright, Green Shift Inc.

Need I say more?

Some excerpts from Kady O’Malley’s live blogging on this morning’s presser with paper cup seller and publicity hound Jennifer Wright that was carried live on Newsworld.

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.

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.

11:40:58 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.

She’d better come up with something more convincing than today’s incoherent performance if she hopes to succeed in court.

Update: CAITI is helpfully offering the name Green Incentive Plan along with the domain name GreenIncentivePlan.ca for the low, low cost of $10.45. Might not be a bad idea to make the switch. We can still call it “Green Shift” informally.

Update2: From the LPC’s official response via Macleans.

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.

Fairly predictable.

It sure would be interesting to dig into the failed case against GreenShift Corporation, especially given that the U.S. company was only formed three years ago, long after Green Shift Inc. claims the term “Green Shift” was trademarked (which it isn’t — or not registered anyway).

32 Comments

Filed under Liberal Party of Canada

When Shifty Greens Attack!

In an entirely unsurprising development, Green Shift Inc., the Toronto company that sells paper cups… err, I mean “helps business improve their environmental standards,” says it’s planning to launch what turns out not to be its first lawsuit for trademark infringement — this time against the Liberal Party over the branding of their carbon-tax plan. Because, you know, the two things are so easily confused in the minds of really stupid people looking to assuage their environmental guilt complexes that evidently comprise the company’s target market.

Jennifer Wright, the head of Green Shift Inc. — an until recently obscure company that’s now familiar to millions of people and is definitely not to be confused with “The Green Shift” which is a political party policy and most certainly not a dinky little company that sells paper cups — told the Star (that’s the Toronto Star — which is not to be confused with The Daily Star, the Phoenix Star, the Star & Tribune, the Star Express, the Star News, or any of the hundreds of other papers called “the Star”) that her attorneys are drawing up a lawsuit “claiming that the Liberals have stolen her company’s trademarked name and damaged the firm’s reputation.”

Whatever. I am a little curious though why Star reporter Allan Woods didn’t ask the obvious questions of Ms. Wright when learning that the company had previously launched a lawsuit over its name in the amount of $2 million. Specifically: Is that lawsuit still pending and if not, what was the amount of the settlement? Inquiring minds and all that…

10 Comments

Filed under Liberal Party of Canada