M&S is suing Aldi for the alleged infringement of its registered trade marks, which were obtained to protect its Colin the Caterpillar cake.

M&S claims that Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar product is similar in appearance and as such, could confuse consumers, leading them to think they were buying an M&S product.  M&S owns trade mark registrations for the Colin the Caterpillar character, including the words COLIN THE CATERPILLAR, registered in 2009, and its packaging, registered in 2020.

 

Mark Caddle, partner and trade mark attorney at European intellectual property firm, Withers & Rogers, said:

“M&S is concerned that this could be a classic case of mistaken identity as far as shoppers are concerned and they have decided to take action to clear things up.

“Colin the Caterpillar is linked to the retailer’s 12-year tie up with Macmillan Cancer Support, and 10% from the sale of each cake goes to the charity. By taking this legal action, M&S is seeking to protect its own revenues and those of its charitable partner.

“Colin the Caterpillar has been very popular in the UK market, which could aid M&S’ case. The High Court’s decision will rest on whether it thinks Cuthbert is too close to M&S’ branding and whether Aldi is seeking to benefit commercially by bringing a confusingly similar product to market.

“This will be an interesting case to watch – the battle of the caterpillars.”

 

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