Martin Rayner buys into David McGuinty's theory of "Shifty Business"
Stephane Dion insists that his "Green Shift" carbon-tax plan could provide the genesis for an emerging "green industry".
Yet, as it was revealed earlier today, Dion's use of "Green Shift" as the moniker of his plan has violated the trademark of a Toronto-based consulting firm -- one of the very companies that would be part of the "green economy" that Dion imagines.
One may wonder, however, what Dion would think of the treatment Green Shift Inc has been recieving from some of his adherents.
In a post on his new blog today, Martin Rayner (aka the misnomer "Red Tory") has taken aim at Green Shift Inc and its proprietor, Jennifer Wright, with some rather typical weapons of character assassination.
What emerges is an amusing mish-mash of disinformation.
Rayner falls back on the live blogging of Macleans blogger Kady O'Malley and a Liberal party reponse to the suit.
Of the most amusing allegations Rayner makes, through these individuals are thus:
1. Wright doesn't own the Green Shift trademark, and
2. All she does is sell toilet paper and coffee cups anyway.
Both statements could have been dispelled with a little rudimentary research.
First off, according to the Globe and Mail, Wright registered Green Shift in 2001. Moreover, according to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, Green Shift's trademark has been "approved" since 2005.
In fact, CIPO offers a fairly detailed account of the progress of Green Shift's application from creation, to approval, to formalization, and various different formal changes.
CIPO offers some more intriguing information: namely, a list of some of the services offered by Green Shift.
More than simply "toilet paper and coffee cups", it also lists organic coffee, various paper products (including copy paper), soil reclamation products, degreasers, and various forms of consultation, among other things.
Which actually isn't all that big a revelation for anyone who's so much as read the Green Shift Inc website's "services" section.
To put it lightly, Kady O'Malley's portrayal of Wright in the course of her press conference does some damage to her credibility. She seems less like a seasoned professional business person and more like a rube who barely knows how to manage her own intellectual property.
In other words: more environmental idealist than seasoned business person. Which is pretty much par the present-day "green industry".
But her obvious inexperience does not entitle the Liberal party to trample her and her business, particularly when it wants Canadians to believe that it's working so hard to build that industry into a powerhouse global contender.
Then there's the simple fact of trademark law: jurisdictions such as Canada, which operate according to common law principles, often afford trademark protection even in cases where such trademarks aren't officially registered.
One can't help but wonder why Martin Rayner wants to villainize Jennifer Wright and Green Shift Inc so badly. If anything, one would expect anyone legitimately concerned about environmental issues to criticize the Liberal party for cutting the throats of its alleged compatriots.