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The battle of the blob: Colgate and Glaxo go to court over toothpaste trademarks

The battle of the blob: Colgate and Glaxo go to court over toothpaste trademarks
Toothpaste tube

Toothpaste tubeColgate-Palmolive and GlaxoSmith-Kline are going to court in a battle right to use a tri-colored blob of toothpaste on their packaging and advertising.

Colgate-Palmolive Co., the maker of Colgate toothpaste, filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against GlaxoSmithKline, alleging that certain aspects Glaxo’s Aquafresh toothpaste packaging infringe on Colgate trademarks.

GlaxoSmithKline responded with a similar lawsuit against Colgate-Palmolive several hours later.

Both suits are primarily concerned with the right to use a tricolored “nurdle” – the term for a blob of toothpaste shaped like a wave – on packaging.

Colgate said in its 76-page complaint that it recently began using the term “Triple Action” in conjunction with an image of a white, green and blue nurdle on its packaging. Colgate alleges that Glaxo uses the phrase “Triple Protection” juxtaposed to a similar nurdle, thereby infringing on established trademarks for the brand.

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