Cool Hand Dion violates "Green Shift" trademark. What would Jason Cherniak think?
"What we have here is failure to communicate."
That quote from Cool Hand Luke would seem to embody the experience of Liberal leader Stephane Dion this week, as he faces litigation over his party's "Green Shift" carbon-tax plan.
Whether to chalk it up to Dion's excessively poor english or general obtuseness is hard to decide upon, but it's certainly yet another strike against Dion's ability to manage himself in the midst of prime time politics.
"Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here [this] week."
It isn't as if Dion wasn't warned, either. Jennifer Wright, the owner of Green Shift Incorporated, a consulting firm that helps companies adopt more Earth-friendly practices, had already warned Dion not to violate her company's trademark.
Despite the warning, the Liberals did it anyway.
"I suddenly just felt steamrolled," Wright says.
Which brings us to an important point: if Dion really believes his party's plan will spawn a plethora of Green Shift Inc-esque environmental firms in the creation of a "green industry", he isn't off to a terribly good start in terms of relations with that industry.
"Which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it!"
For some Liberals, however, the $8.5 million lawsuit is simply another opportunity to allege some sort of insidious conspiracy against the party.
Flying McGuinty brother and federal MP David McGuinty claimed he had been using the phrase "green shift" throughout the 1990s, and insisted its in common usage throughout the environmental movement. "It's a bit mysterious -- in fact, puzzling -- why (the suit) is being launched now," McGuinty said.
Yet a Google search not unlike the very one he suggests reveals the website for Green Shift Inc, another website that notes it is not affiliated with Green Shift Inc, and a number of news stories about Stephane Dion's "green shift".
Dion's appropriation of the phrase certainly does pose a number of problems for the company, including questions about its ownership status. "We've been contending with phone calls asking if we have been taken over by the Liberal party," Wright reports
The search also reveals a website for an American company of the same name, whom Wright says she has given up legal actions against on account of "costs and geography".
The implications of this trademark violation aren't limited to the party, either.
Two years ago blogger and Liberal party activist Jason Cherniak took it upon himself to have several Conservative-partisan videos removed from YouTube for "copyright violations".
(One of the videos in question proved particularly embarrassing for the Liberal party, as it caught them preventing documents, touted as "misplaced" by the Conservative party, from being delivered to their proper destination.)
In this light, one wonders what Jason Cheriak would have to say about the party's misappropration of the Green Shift trademark.
To date, however, Cherniak has yet to comment on this. So it would seem that the answer to that question, as of the time of this posting, is "not much".