I’m amused to see that the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has had to rule on a dispute concerning – of all things – quilted toilet paper. The Chicago Tribune reports:
In a legal battle between two titans of toilet paper, the court held this week that quilted bathroom tissue is too basic a product to be trademarked, upholding a lower court that threw out the lawsuit.
“Toilet paper. This case is about toilet paper,” Judge Terence Evans led off the opinion. “Are there many other things most people use every day but think very little about? We doubt it.”
At issue was a lawsuit in which Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP, which makes Northern Quilted brand toilet paper, accused Kimberly-Clark Corp., maker of Cottonelle tissue, of infringing on its trademark for its “diamond quilted” design of toilet paper.
Despite the mundane subject, the stakes were high. As the opinion pointed out, the toilet paper industry is a $4 billion-a-year business.
And with lawyers being lawyers, the case produced a staggering 675,000 pages of evidence — enough paper, printed out and laid end-to-end, to stretch from Chicago to Michigan City, Ind., and back. (We have no idea how many rolls of toilet paper that would equal.)
There’s more at the link.
One wonders whether all those hundreds of thousands of pages of evidence will now be recycled into the product over which the dispute was waged? If so, one could truly say that the losing legal team was ‘on a roll’ . . . even though, in this case, they weren’t, idiomatically speaking!