Tag Snag Divides Office Suppliers

CHICAGO Boise Office Solutions has filed a lawsuit against Staples, alleging the office product retailer’s recently unveiled slogan, “That was easy,” is too similar to Boise’s “It couldn’t be easier” line.

“We have reviewed the complaint, and it’s without merit,” said Staples representative Deborah Hohler. She declined further comment on the pending litigation. A representative from Omnicom shop Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, which works for Staples, declined comment.

“We believe our mark represents Boise Office Solutions’ ability to provide a personalized way of doing business,” said Ralph Poore, a representative for Boise. “It’s clear to us that by adopting a similar mark several years after [us], they’re trying to capitalize on the Boise mark and represent that they possess the same capabilities.”

Boise has been using its line since 1998, Poore said. Staples introduced its line in February in a campaign from Martin/Williams, replacing the long-running tag, “Yeah, we’ve got that.” The lawsuit seeks to prevent Staples from using the line and to collect monetary damages for loss of profit, Poore said.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho, in early April. Boise Office Solutions, a subsidiary of Boise Cascade Corp. that distributes office products, furniture and paper, has annual sales of $3.5 billion.

—with Kristen Rountree