Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh the Controversy

Has anyone been keeping up with the "Green Shift" name usage controversy that the Liberal party has going on right now?

Here's a CBC article that goes over the whole scenario:
Company seeks $8.5 million from Liberals for use of Green Shift name

I was lucky to catch Jennifer Wright (owner of the company suing the Liberals) on a radio program I was listening too, and it was pretty interesting hearing her side of it all. Her company actually has a Green Shift program that has been in place long before the Liberals decided to (knowingly) use the same name. Stephane Dion called it "deplorable" that the Liberals were taken to court over this, which is interesting seeing as it is the only recourse that was available to protect the Green Shift company's stake in the name.

Now, I haven't taken Intellectual Property yet (hopefully I'll successfully ballot for it in the fall), so I don't know the ins and outs of legally for this scenario, but it certainly appears to be a case where the Liberal party just did what they wanted, because a small company likely wouldn't take the case to court due to being unable to afford it. Yikes. Not so nice, ethical, or honest, if you ask this humble little law student. Why they couldn't pick another name is beyond me. Seems pretty simple. Especially when you'd think they'd want to ENCOURAGE businesses that are making the environment a priority. Wow, hey?

The unfortunate part (to me) of this whole scenario, is the political back and forth non-sense. This is a pretty simple case of intellectual property issues. If you actually read the CBC article above, it's interesting that the first sentence is this:

The owner of an environmental firm who is suing the Liberal party for $8.7 million over its use of the company's name says she's received offers of financial support for her legal battle from Conservatives.

So ... Conservative implication. If you read further on, Ms. Wright does deny (and did on the radio) having taken any money from the Conservatives ... so ... doesn't seem quite as relevant as the actual facts of the case ... but ... I guess it's spicier to implicate the Conservatives somehow, non?

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