The city of Portland, Ore., has its panties in a twist, so to speak, over Romtec Inc.'s Sidewalk Restrooms that mimic its copyrighted design. An Oregon federal court copyright, trade dress and unfair competition case notes the "enormous media attention" that followed Portland's December 2008 rollout of its loos, plus a Facebook page, awards and a documentary. The case claims Romtec's 2012 product has strikingly similar anti-graffiti and safety features, plus an exterior sink. Romtec previously specialized in restrooms built on concrete foundations for parks, but "it now seeks to usurp the urban market with its Sidewalk Restroom, which is an obvious knock-off of the Portland Loo," the lawsuit says. — Sheri Qualters


A legal dispute has arisen concerning an art installation that Playboy Enterprises Inc. has set up near U.S. Highway 90 just outside of art-centric Marfa, Texas. The display features a large concrete platform, topped with a 1972 Dodge Charger, and a neon display of the famous Playboy bunny symbol mounted on a pole. The state ordered the installation removed by August 5. Houston criminal defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin offered his services to Playboy and the installation stills stands pending talks. DeGuerin firmly believes the display is an example of the time-tested sponsorship that is corporate art. "The Pope sponsored Michelangelo," he said. "How about that for a comparison?" — Texas Lawyer

Living in sin

A suit filed this week in Chicago trial court alleges that Lawndale Christian Development Corp. engaged in unlawful real estate discrimination when it refused to let a newly hired maintenance worker live in one of its housing units with a woman he hadn't married. The Chicago Tribune reports that the worker was later fired and given two weeks to leave his apartment. The suit asks for $10,000 in civil penalties and civil rights training for the defendants. — Richard Binder