P&G says Brawny paper towels copied Bounty

CINCINNATI -- The Procter & Gamble Co. says rival Brawny paper towels have picked up some of Bounty's design.

The Cincinnati-based consumer products company has filed a federal lawsuit charging Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific Corp. with trademark infringement and unfair competition.

P&G says a version of Brawny that hit retail shelves in April copies the bowtie emblem of Bounty ExtraSoft, a 2008 line of the four-decade-old Bounty brand that calls itself "the quicker picker-upper."

"Despite the infinite number of available alternative shapes ... the 'Great New Look' of the defendant's newest Brawny is strikingly similar in appearance to the Bounty ExtraSoft bowtie mark," charges the lawsuit filed recently in U.S. district court.

P&G says its ExtraSoft line has added to Bounty's U.S. market leadership and that Georgia-Pacific was "apparently threatened" by its success. The suit asks for an injunction and unspecified damages.

Georgia-Pacific said it would counter P&G's claims in court.

"We disagree with the allegations, and we believe that the matter is entirely meritless," spokesman James Malone said.

Such lawsuits are common between consumer products competitors. P&G and Kraft Foods Inc. earlier this year settled complaints against each over their coffee containers.