The smell of potpourri really stinks. And now there’s a lawsuit with Poo-Pourri that’s stinking up federal court.
Scentsible LLC, the Dallas-based company that owns Poo-Pourri, is suing the makers of V.I.Poo for its marketing tactics. Once the Dallas-based toilet deodorizing line Poo-Pourri got wind of what their rival V.I.Poo was doing, it aired its grievance in court.
There’s a rotten smell floating through the corridors of a United States District Court in Texas, and it’s not the scent of dirty politicians. Pou-Pourri – a company that sells air-freshening toilet sprays – is suing a British competitor for copyright and trademark infringement.
International manufacturing goliath Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is the defendant, and it would appear that Poo-Pourri’s claims of crappy conspiracy hold some messy merit. According to Poo-Pourri, RB intentionally copied Poo-Pourri’s popular “Girls Don’t Poop” YouTube video, as well as several images from advertising materials. Based on the wording in the suit, Poo-Pourri is the leader in the market, with V.I.Poo “a distant number two.”
While RB removed their English-language video for V.I. Poo – the British company’s take on Poo-Pourri – it’s still available in other languages. There’s certainly some stinky idea-theft going on here, as the two spots are remarkably similar, even with the language barrier.
Still, it’s hard to see Poo-Pourri dropping a victory in this case’s bowl. V.I. Poo’s marketing absolutely lacks in originality, but I don’t think it crosses the line into copyright infringement – especially since V.I. Poo is not sold in America, calling into question whether U.S. laws apply to a product that isn’t available here.
No matter how the case ends up, I got to say the phrase “Pou-Pourri is suing V.I. Poo” with a straight face. That’s a win for everyone.