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.