Marks & Spencer has recently sued Aldi for allegedly copying its “Light Up” gin. Earlier in the month of April, it sued Aldi over its Cuthbert cake where it was alleged that Aldi's cake was too similar to its well-known Colin the Caterpillar cake. M&S court papers claim, “Aldi's gold flake blackberry and clementine gin liqueurs are strikingly similar to our own product.”
It lists down several features claiming their protection such as:
1. Bottle shape,
2. An integrated light feature,
3. Gold leaf flakes and
4. A winter forest graphic.
Both gins come in a similar appearance with a bell-shaped bottle with a light in the base highlighting edible golden flakes that are floating inside it. However, there is a huge difference in their price as Aldi's gin costs around £6 cheaper than the £20 priced M&S product.
In Mark’s statement, they mentioned in their intellectual property claim “Customers are being misled to believe the two gins of the same standard, allowing Aldi to ride on the coattails of our reputation with their product.” M&S is seeking an injunction to restrain Aldi from committing any further alleged infringements of any of its protected designs.
M&S also wants Aldi to destroy or hand over all their products that may breach the injunction, along with an investigation for coming to potential damages. Whereas some believe that imitation is the highest form of flattery, M&S has very fiercely shown that it won’t take a back seat and watch others crossing their lines.
In response to the current case, an M&S spokesperson said, “The firm was already aware of the true value and cost of innovation and the enormous time, passion, creativity, energy and attention to detail, that goes into designing, developing and bringing a product to market”. They added: “Our customers have confidence in our products because they trust our quality and sourcing standards so we will always seek to protect our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation, and value - and protect our customers from obvious copies.”
Aldi gave its response on Twitter, saying: "Our lawyers gonna be so rich they are shopping in @marksandspencer soon #FreeCuthbert #Round2". I hope people soon will start giving importance to others’ intellectual properties and won’t proceed in any manner to infringe them.