Score one for the little guy—and another for social media. Radio Canada is reporting that Industries Lassonde, makers of the Oasis line of juices, will now be paying the legal fees incurred by Deborah Kudzman, who they slapped with a lawsuit over the name of her Olivia’s Oasis line of olive oil-based soaps in 2005. The suit was rejected in court five years later with the company ordered to pay 125-grand to the small businesswoman, most of which would go towards her legal fees. But they appealed the penalty, and the Court of Appeals overturned it last week, ruling that the company wouldn’t hafta pay a cent—which led to several glasses of OJ being raised in celebration, I’m sure.
Mind you, it hardly seems fair that a large company that made over 760-million dollars in sales last year could start a silly lawsuit against a small business that brought in less than 250-thousand, then stick them with a bill that would eat up a good chunk of their revenue. Fortunately many folks, including TV host Guy A. Lepage, took to Twitter in protest, suggesting a boycott of fruit juices in response, until the company finally caved and agreed to pay the legal bills that it took to the Court of Appeals in the first place, the court of public opinion taking precedence in this matter.
And if the thought of someone mistaking a bottle of soap for a jug of orange juice seems preposterous, it’s worth noting that Lassonde is quite (over)protective of the desert paradise it has copyrighted, if not created. According to an earlier La Presse story, they’d already filed suits against makers of chewing tobacco, pressure gauges for deep-sea diving, sprinkler valves, hair products and nuts. Because all of the above could be confused with fruit juices, I’m sure. Gee, I wonder what the Gallagher brothers think of all this?