Thursday, January 21, 2010

Extortion ?

Canadian Olympic Committee claims the flame logo of this three-year-old small business infringes on its trademark. COC lawyers say desist and pay them $5,000 for legal expenses.

I'm quite certain this is absurd extortion but I will ask one of my grandsons. He is 3¾ but has a fairly well developed sense of justice, at least better than the folks at the Canadian Olympic Committee.

The demand for payment reminds me of the "phony invoice" scam that has been around small business forever. Shysters send out thousand of demands for payment, perhaps for "directory" advertising. They know most will go in the garbage but, if one person in 20 responds, the payoffs add up because of volume of the original mailing.

Maybe that's the approach of COC. At $5,000 each, it wouldn't take many responses to provide a healthy return. This entrepreneur says he'll fight the COC to the bitter end and pay nothing. Good for him.

Do you suppose the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit will investigate because extortion might be an Olympics related crime?

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