Spin Control

FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011, 12:43 P.M.

Appeals court unrolls toilet paper decision

Hardly anything is so common, yet goes so unnoticed, as toilet paper, a federal appeals court notes.

And yet a dispute over toilet paper -- actually over the pattern on toilet paper, which may go even less noticed -- was worth a court case that generated some 675,000 pages of record, an appeal, and now, from the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals, a decision:

That is, that the diamond design on Georgia-Pacific's Quilted Northern is functional, and therefore can't be trademarked, so Kimberly Clark did not infringe on the trademark with its diamond shaped quilted design on Cottonelle.

Seriously. They went to court over this. And some folks wonder why the court system is clogged.

But what the case really created was perhaps the best-written, or at least most entertaining, court ruling on toilet paper, ever, full of some pretty good puns (better than the one  in the previous paragraph) and a sign that while the court took the case seriously, it did not necessarily take itself too seriously. It can be found here.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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