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Colgate sues GSK over toothpaste "nurdle"

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Anticipating an infringement lawsuit from GlaxoSmithKline regarding toothpaste trademarks, Colgate-Palmolive alleges "GSK desires to stifle competition in the marketplace through overbroad assertions of trademark rights." Colgate's 1complaint filed July 29 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York says its Colgate brand toothpaste with a "Triple Action" claim and the image of a three-striped "nurdle" of toothpaste drew complaints from GSK, maker of Aquafresh products with a "Triple Protection" claim. The plaintiff asks that Glaxo's application for a three-striped, color-nonspecific nurdle trademark - "a blatant shot across Colgate's bow" - be found invalid and unenforceable. The firms recently squared off in a self-regulatory arena when Colgate challenged bacteria removal claims made by Aquafresh iso-active (2"The Tan Sheet" Feb. 22, 2010)
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