M&S sues Aldi over copycat gin bottle design
Marks and Spencer has launched legal action against discount supermarket rival Aldi, over what it alleges is a copycat gin.
The retailer, who said it was one of the first to introduce glitter gin globes to the UK market, is taking Aldi to court for selling its own version of the festive drink, branded “The Infusionist”.
M&S filed papers at the High Court on 3 December alleging that Aldi’s version copies the M&S Light-Up Gin and has been available for sale since early November.
The documents said that Aldi’s gin “constitute designs which do not produce on the informed user a different overall impression to the M&S designs”.
M&S registered three varieties of its designs earlier this year. The retailer says Aldi’s blackberry and clementine gin liqueur is “strikingly similar” to its own Light Up gin.
Both retailer’s gins come in a bell-shaped bottle with a light in the base, which illuminates edible gold flakes in the liquid. The Aldi gin is about £6 cheaper than the basic £20 M&S version.
M&S is seeking an injunction to restrain the discount retailer from infringing its designs, requiring it to surrender or destroy its stock, and pay damages plus costs.
Aldi has already rejected requests to stop selling the products.
An M&S spokesperson said: “M&S has a proud history as a leading British innovator and for over 136 years customers have turned to M&S for unique, original, quality products – conceived, created and developed by us working with our trusted suppliers and produced to the highest standards.”
M&S said: “So, 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 and building its brand over many years. We will always seek to protect our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value – and protect our customers from obvious copies.”
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