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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Valley poop scooping company sued by Seattle competitor

Scoop Troop, of Spokane Valley, is being sued by Seattle-based Pooper Trooper for trademark and copyright infringement.  (Tod Stephens / The Spokesman-Review)

Poop scooping has turned into a dog fight in federal court.

Filed earlier this week, Seattle-based Pooper Trooper dumped a federal lawsuit on Scoop Troop, of Spokane Valley, for several counts of copyright, trademark and competition violations, according to court documents.

The Seattle company has been doing dirty work under its Pooper Trooper name since as early as 1989, but began officially marketing and selling products like dog waste bags and bins under the name in 2003, according to filing.

Scoop Troop, servicing Spokane County, North Idaho and Seattle, was founded in 2020, according to its website.

In addition to the displeasing deposits of dogs, Pooper Trooper attorneys claim the company’s name is associated with “goodwill” to which the acts of their Spokane Valley counterpart have caused “serious and irreparable harm.”

Further, because the two companies have similar names and services, Pooper Trooper’s online presence will be hurt due to online customers being misdirected to Scoop Troop’s site for waste removal services, Pooper Trooper’s suit claims.

In its argument, Pooper Trooper attorneys noted an earlier attempt by Scoop Troop to earn a federal trademark at the time of its founding. The United States Patent and Trademark Office denied the request because of the already federal trademarked PoopScoop Troopers of Woodridge, Virginia.

The trademark officials denied the request because the use of “troop” and “troopers” may be “confusingly similar” due to them appearing in the similar markets and presenting a “similar overall commercial impression,” according to this week’s court documents.

Pooper Trooper, which earned its federal trademark in 2006, learned of this history in April when Scoop Troop expanded to Seattle.

Pooper Trooper then sent a cease and desist letter to Scoop Troop. Nearly a month later, Scoop Troop rejected the claims and denied any infringement, court documents said.

Though the lawsuit will likely have little impact on the greater Spokane area, it is a substantial development in a growing industry. Washington currently has about two dozen companies that offer that service, according to the Seattle Times.

Despite their playful names, like Call of Doody or Poop Scoopin’ Boogie, pet-waste removal companies can earn serious profits.

Earlier this month, Scoop Troop acquired its leading competitor, Dooky’s Poop Scoop Service, likely making it the largest pet-waste removal company in the Spokane area.

After the acquisition, Co-founder and President William Milliken told the Spokane Journal of Business he predicts more than $1.3 million in revenue this year.

Attempts to reach the lawyers representing Pooper Trooper were not returned Thursday or Friday.

Scoop Troop Co-founder Levi Swartz told The Spokesman-Review his company does not wish to comment on the matter.