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"Shell image" appeal

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Procter & Gamble appeal brief filed in Manhattan federal circuit court argues lower court erred in ruling non-infringement of P&G's "shell image" ad demonstration by Colgate-Palmolive ("The Tan Sheet" Jan. 25, p. 22). "P&G's demo easily meets the 'extremely low' threshold required by the Copyright Act to be deemed 'original,'" the appellant says. Colgate brief asks the appeals court to uphold the lower court ruling that its version of the demonstration was independently created and not copied from P&G. The toothpaste-on-shell experiment has been used for "more than forty years...by school children all over the world to portray the benefits of fluoride in toothpaste," Colgate argues. The procedure for conducting the experiment is not protectable by copyright, Colgate says, adding the elements of P&G's commercial are conventional, or scenes a faire. Arguments are tentatively scheduled for July

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