Maclean’s magazine’s recent June cover story “Canada’s 50 Best Corporate Citizens” has drawn the ire of the magazine Corporate Knights. Corporate Knights claims that it has been grading corporate citizenship since 2002 and annually releases such rankings under the title “Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada”.
As well, Corporate Knights has filed a trade-mark application for the phrase, which application remains pending. Corporate Knigths claims that Maclean’s story encroaches upon its trade-mark rights and, as such, has apparently had its lawyers send a letter to Maclean’s demanding that all copies containing the story be pulled from circulation and destroyed, that Maclean’s print a retraction and pay Corporate Knights $4 million. In response, Maclean’s has pointed out the descriptive nature of the claimed trade-mark.
To increase pressure on Maclean’s (and in all likelihood to increase its own profile) Corporate Knights is using social media to highlight its story, having created a Facebook group, and is calling for the editor of Maclean’s to debate the editor of Corporate Knights regarding corporate responsibility.
Interestingly, we note that an online story on macleans.ca refers to “The Jantzi-Maclean’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2009”.