Paper Towel, TP Maker Says Rival Stole From its Roll - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Paper Towel, TP Maker Says Rival Stole From its Roll

Tissue titans wage legal battles over designs

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    Paper Towel, TP Maker Says Rival Stole From its Roll
    AP Graphics
    You might think toilet paper is toilet paper, but it's a big deal for companies who make it their business to help you with yours.

    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.