Marks & Spencer has taken legal action against Aldi to protect its Colin the Caterpillar cake with allegations that its rival’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar product infringes its trademark.
M&S, which filed an intellectual property claim in the High Court this week, argues that the similarity of the Aldi product leads consumers to believe that they are of the same standard and reputation of M&S with the product Are “on their heels”.
M&S would like Aldi to take the product off sale and agree not to sell anything similar in the future.
M&S launched Colin the Caterpillar around 30 years ago and its appearance has remained essentially unchanged since around 2004, with the exception of adjustments for events like Halloween and Christmas and related products like Connie the Caterpillar.
The product is central to M & S’s partnership with the cancer charity Macmillan. The retailer developed a Colin product for the world’s annual “Biggest Coffee Morning” fundraiser.
The cake is a sponge with milk chocolate and buttercream topped with chocolate bonbons and a smiling white chocolate face.
M&S has three brands related to Colin which, in the retailer’s view, mean Colin has acquired and will maintain improved distinctiveness and reputation.
A spokesperson said: “Because we know that the M&S brand is special to our customers and that they only expect the best from us, there is love and care in every M&S product on our shelves.
“That’s why we want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.”