“Toilet paper. This case is about toilet paper. Are there many other things most people use every day but think very little about? We doubt it.” Such was the introduction to 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals‘ Judge Terence Evans‘ ruling (pdf) in a design-based intellectual property lawsuit filed by Georgia-Pacific (owner of the Quilted Northern brand) against Kimberly-Clark (owner of Cottonelle and Scott) over alleged toilet paper design theft. The former accused the later of stealing its trademarked “diamond quilted” design, which launched a suit wherein, as Leagle reports, “some 675,000 pages of documents were produced and more than a dozen witnesses were deposed.” In terms of court rulings, which in our experience as generally as bland as they sound, reading the whole 17 page document (pdf) is honestly a bit fun, given a subject that will make those more juvenile among us a bit giggly, and how bizarre and detailed the whole thing is. However, if your time is short, we refer back to Leagle, who provides a great review of the whole case (and far more brief, coming in at just four pages). And of course, because you’re wondering, Georgia-Pacific wound up losing the suit, with Judge Evans deciding that the “Quilted Diamond Design is functional and therefore cannot be trademarked.”
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