The first Portland Loo was installed on December 8, 2008, “to enormous media attention.” Portland has used the Loo to capitalize on its reputation as a “green” innovator and has sold the Loo to various municipalities including: Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, and Victoria and Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada. The City is currently negotiating to sell Portland Loos to Esquimalt, British Columbia, San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington.
In January 2013, Portland city officials were informed by an official with the City of Cincinnati, that Defendant Romtec was manufacturing and marketing for sale a restroom substantially and strikingly similar to the Portland Loo called the “Sidewalk Restroom.” Romtec first introduced its Sidewalk Restroom in late 2012.
Portland alleges that Romtec’s Sidewalk Restroom is “substantially and strikingly similar to the distinctive Portland Loo in its total overall expression, appearance, configuration, size, description, and promotion and features key elements that appear to have been copied from the Protected Work including, but not limited to: (a) the placement, size, position, and dimensions of its louvers; (b) the choice of metal wall panels; (c) use of an anti-graffiti powder coating; (d) the stripped down plumbing that facilitates its set-in-place installation; (e) placement of the sink on the exterior of the unit; and (f) dedicated space for art and advertising.”
This lawsuit was brought by Portland to prevent the sale of the Sidewalk Restroom. More background is included in the Complaint (below). Stay tuned for updates.
City of Portland Oregon v. Romtec, Inc.
Court Case Number: 3:13-cv-01453-MO
File Date: Monday, August 19, 2013
Plaintiff: City of Portland Oregon
Plaintiff Counsel: Lisa M. Gramp – Attorney at Law
Defendant: Romtec, Inc.
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Trade Dress Infringement, Unfair Competition, False Designation of Origin, Dilution, Common Law Trademark Infringement, Common Law Unfair Competition, Common Law Dilution, Oregon Uniform Trade Practices Act
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Judge Michael W. Mosman