August 24, 2017  | By Bekah Harger

By L.M. Sixel

A Texas Outhouse portable toilet sports its trademarked logo of the outline of Texas and a lone star.  Photo: Rick Campbell, Freelance / Houston ChronicleHOUSTON – A trademark dispute swirling between two portable-toilet vendors since last year has been settled.

Texas Outhouse of Houston, which trademarked its logo incorporating Texas and its lone star last year, had sued rival Texas Waste in May 2016, claiming the Alvin company’s use of similar iconic Texas images diluted Texas Outhouse’s brand, making it difficult for users to distinguish the difference.

The case was scheduled to go to trial later this month.
The deal was struck recently between the two rivals a month after U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison determined that the logo used by Texas Outhouse — a star imposed on an outline of Texas — is a valid trademark, according to the order he signed in July. Texas Waste argued that the traditional symbols of Texas were “so synonymous” with the Lone Star State that its rival’s logo should not be a protected trademark.

“It would not have been enough if the Texas Outhouse logo were just the outline of Texas and the Lone Star,” Ellison noted in his order. “It became a distinctive trademark with the incorporation of ‘Texas Outhouse’ in the design,” Ellison wrote.

Houston lawyer Rodney Drinnon, who represents Texas Outhouse, said the dispute was resolved favorably for his client although he would not provide details.  Texas Waste will make changes to its logo, he said.

Texas Waste and its lawyer did not return calls for comment.

Article reposted from the Houston Chronicle. Read the original article here.