The man, Marv Freadman of Chelsea, Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit in Boston federal court, saying that the Dallas-based consumer products maker is developing a "visual indicating device for bad breath."
The device, Freadman said in court papers, works by detecting carbon dioxide and other gases given off by the bacteria that cause bad breath. Freadman said that he had already patented a similar device.
The company has its own later patent on the device, according to court papers.
The suit asks the court to stop Kimberly-Clark from using the technology and also seeks unspecified monetary damages.
A spokesman for Kimberly-Clark said he had not yet seen a copy of the lawsuit and therefore could not comment.