M&S Colinthe Caterpillar
It’s caterpillar cake wars!
Marks and Spencer is taking German supermarket chain Aldi to court in a trademark row.
M&S wants to protect its Colin the Caterpillar cake against Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake.
To the naked eye both look remarkably similar.
M&S says its trademark has been infringed – leading buyers to think the cakes are of the same standard.
Lawyers at Dentons have logged an intellectual property claim with the High Court.
It demands Aldi stops selling its Cuthbert cake.
Aldi says it stopped stocking the cake last February.
Colin the Caterpillar appeared on the shelves more than 30 years ago.
It’s a sponge cake filled with milk chocolate and buttercream, and topped with chocolate, sweets and a smiling white chocolate face.
The 625g cake costs £7 – £1.12 per 100g.
Cuthbert is £4.99 – or 80p per 100g – and has a log-shaped chocolate sponge cake with a chocolate shell.
Other supermarkets have similar cakes: Waitrose’s Cecil, Sainsbury’s Wiggles, Tesco’s Curly, and Asda’s Clyde the Caterpillar.
However, John Coldham, IP partner at law firm Gowling WLG, said M&S and Aldi were “very similar indeed – much closer, it seems, than other caterpillar cakes offered by other retailers”.
He added: “Trademark cases on shapes of products are notoriously difficult, as most recently seen by Nestle in its attempts to protect the shape of a KitKat, but all these cases turn on the evidence.
“M&S will presumably be confident that it has sufficient evidence of the shape’s distinctiveness to prevail.”