These legal papers should make for absorbing bathroom reading.
A messy battle has spilled into the courtroom, with two paper giants fighting over the rights to those little designs on paper towels and toilet paper. Proctor & Gamble sued Georgia-Pacific in federal court earlier this week, claiming the company ripped off the bowtie patterns found on Bounty Extra Soft and used them on a new line of Brawny paper towels.
Brawny's "Great New Look" is an "obvious attempt to trade on the goodwill, reputation and commercial success achieved by Bounty Extra Soft," P&G charges in its lawsuit filed May 8.
The suit, reported by Advertising Age, is just the latest in a series of legal battles between paper powerhouses. Georgia-Pacific sued P&G in March and forced the company to modify claims about the thickness of its new and improved Bounty paper towels.
A month earlier, Georgia-Pacific sued Kimberly-Clark, claiming the quilt shapes on Cottonelle Ultra were too much like ones on Georgia-Pacific's Quilted Northern.
Last year, Georgia-Pacific sued P&G over diamond shapes on the company's Charmin toilet paper, and P&G agreed to change the design.
In fact, the companies have been fighting in court for years: A 2002 lawsuit brought by P&G accused Georgia-Pacific of poaching a key engineer who had inside knowledge of P&G's "Thorough Air Drying" technology used in Charmin toilet paper.