Feeling insulted, Mexican to market 'Trump' toilet paper

This illustration released by Antonio Battaglia shows toilet paper wrapped in mock-up packaging, featuring a cartoon image in the likeness of President Donald Trump, with the Spanish phrases "Softness without borders," center, "This supports migrants," top right, "Four pure rolls," bottom right, which is a play on words in Spanish that roughly translates as "Pure nonsense." Battaglia, a corporate lawyer, said his idea for “Trump” toilet paper came after Donald Trump’s comments characterizing migrants who enter the U.S. illegally as criminals, drug runners and rapists offended many Mexicans. "My thinking was: We can’t keep quiet, right? ... So with this insult that was made, (I figured) I’m going to add my grain of sand in response.” (Antonio Battaglia via AP)
This illustration released by Antonio Battaglia shows the mock-up design for toilet paper wrapping carrying the Spanish phrases "Softness without borders," "This supports migrants," "Four pure rolls" which is a play on words in Spanish that roughly translates as "Pure nonsense," and “This is the wall that, yes, we will pay for.” Battaglia, the product's creator, said he’s still identifying which organizations could receive a portion of any profits from his sales, but he hopes to help migrants facing deportation or other legal problems, those who are separated from family members or people trying to normalize their migratory status. (Antonio Battaglia via AP)

MEXICO CITY — A Mexican businessman offended by President Donald Trump's insults to his countrymen is seizing on a possible oversight in the magnate's branding plans.

Corporate lawyer Antonio Battaglia is introducing "Trump" brand toilet paper, marketed under the slogans "Softness without borders" and "This is the wall that, yes, we will pay for."

Mexico's Institute of Industrial Property has granted Trump's company trademarks on his name in sectors such as construction, hotels, tourism, real estate and financial services. But the Trump Organization didn't bother to cover what's referred to in Spanish as "hygenic paper," and Battaglia's trademark for Trump toilet paper was approved in October 2015, according to the institute's records.

Packages are expected to begin rolling off production lines later this year, with 30 percent of the profits promised to programs supporting migrants.

Battaglia said he was "really bothered" when Trump launched his presidential bid by characterizing migrants who enter the U.S. illegally as criminals, drug runners and rapists.

"My thinking was: We can't keep quiet, right?" he said by telephone from the central Mexican city of Leon. "So with this insult that was made, (I figured) I'm going to add my grain of sand in response."

Battaglia said he has signed a contract to manufacture a small initial run worth about 400,000 pesos ($21,400), enough to fill two cargo trucks. He said he hopes to generate enough demand to expand production.

A mock-up package provided by Battaglia boasts it contains four "puros rollos" — a double-entendre that literally means "pure rolls" but can also be understood as "pure nonsense." It shows a grinning cartoon character giving an enthusiastic thumbs-up. It's not an exact likeness of Trump, but its swooping blond locks are a clear nod to the president's famous hairdo.

A lawyer for the Trump Organization did not respond to phone messages and emails seeking comment. But Trump has been aggressive about protecting his brand when he feels it is being encroached upon.

Battaglia argued he is well within Mexican law as the legal trademark-holder, with no direct link between his product and Donald Trump or his image.

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Associated Press writer Bernard Condon in New York contributed to this report.

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Peter Orsi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Peter_Orsi

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