Aldi could be forced to remove popular ‘copycat’ product from its shelves

Aldi could be forced to remove popular ‘copycat’ product from its shelves

Aldi could soon be forced to remove a popular “copycat” products from its shelves after losing a legal battle.

The supermarket was accused by M&S of “copying” the design of its light-up snow globe gin bottle, with the High Court ruling that Aldi’s version infringed on M&S’s original design.

Aldi could now be required to remove the product – which appeared on shelves ahead of the festive season – and either pay damages to M&S or pay a share of profits made from the items.

The case was originally raised in Christmas 2020 over Aldi’s gold flake blackberry and clementine gin liqueurs which, like the M&S original launched in 2019, was complete with gold flakes and a light-up bottle resembling a snow globe.

Aldi’s snow globe gin, left, next to the M&S original (The Independent)
Aldi’s snow globe gin, left, next to the M&S original (The Independent)

Reacting to the court decision, a spokesperson for M&S said: “We are pleased with the judgment, which demonstrates the importance of protecting our innovation.

“Like many other UK businesses, large and small, we know 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.”

“Our customers have confidence in our products because they trust our quality,” the spokesperson added.

Aldi has confirmed it would be appealing the court decision. “Aldi is committed to offering customers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices,” a spokesperson stated.

It isn’t the first legal encounter between the two supermarkets. In February 2022, M&S settled its lawsuit with Aldi over the famous Colin the Caterpillar cake, having accused the German supermarket of replicating its design with its Cuthbert cake.

M&S has three trademarks relating to its caterpillar cake, including the words “Colin the Caterpillar” and in relation to the packaging. The lawsuit, filed in April 2021, stated that it wanted Aldi to remove its Cuthbert cake from sale and agree not to sell anything that resembles Colin.

The details of the final deal were not revealed, but it was understood that Cuthbert’s appearance changed slightly.

Aldi’s version is not the only replica of the M&S favourite. Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s each have their own-brand versions, called Curly, Clyde, Cecil and Wiggles respectively.

Cuthbert returned to Aldi shelves in June 2022, with a spokesperson confirming: “Cuthbert is free and looking forward to seeing all his fans again very soon!”

Aldi devotees fear that further products could be removed from its popular Special Buys range, though these fears have not yet been substantiated.