Colgate, Glaxo settle toothpaste 'nurdle' lawsuit

* Colgate had sought to protect “Triple Action” phrase

* Glaxo had sought to protect “Triple Protection” phrase

NEW YORK, Nov 7 (Reuters) - A lawsuit over a blob of toothpaste has ended, cleanly.

Colgate-Palmolive Co and GlaxoSmithKline Plc , two of the world’s biggest toothpaste makers, said they have reached a confidential settlement of litigation over who has the right to depict a “nurdle,” a wave-shaped toothpaste blob that sits atop a toothbrush head.

A notice of the settlement was filed on Monday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where the companies had sued each other in July 2010.

Colgate has sought a court order allowing it to use toothpaste packaging that superimposes the words “Triple Action” -- suggesting cavity protection, fresh breath and whiter teeth -- on a blue, white and green nurdle.

Glaxo, which uses the “Triple Protection” phrase for its Aquafresh toothpaste, countersued, accusing Colgate of trying to “trade off the commercial magnetism” of its own packaging, including a red, white and blue nurdle.

Colgate is based in New York. Glaxo is a British company that has U.S. offices in Philadelphia.

The case is GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Colgate-Palmolive Co, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 10-05739.