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



    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.