Caterpillar battle to pitch M&S against Aldi
Marks & Spencer has begun legal action against Aldi, arguing the supermarket’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake infringes its Colin the Caterpillar trademark.
Aldi’s version is Cuthbert (pay attention) which apparently looks very similar to M&S’s Colin.
The question therefore is how individual should a caterpillar look (as in ‘can you tell one caterpillar from another’) and should any company be able to have a unique claim to an animal or insect shape?
M&S claims that their similarity leads consumers to believe they are of the same standard and “rides on the coat-tails” of M&S’s reputation.
It lodged an intellectual property claim with the High Court this week.
M&S wants Aldi to remove the product from sale and agree not to sell anything similar in the future.
The retailer has three trademarks relating to Colin, which it believes “means Colin has acquired and retains an enhanced distinctive character and reputation.”
So what interests Loyalty Magazine the most? Is it the whole trademark problem? If you remember there was a rumpus over the shape of Kitkat bars (lost) and Toblerone (won) and I suspect that Aldi would fight for rights to Kevin the carrot, which has been hugely popular for them – but a caterpillar cake?
In the interests of being informative, it is necessary to inform you that there is also a Clive the Caterpillar cake available from Asda, Wiggles the Caterpillar from Sainsbury’s, Curley from Tesco, Cecil from Waitrose and an unnamed version in both Morrisons and Lidl.
Actually what impressed Loyalty the most, was that it made it to the top spot of the BBC website, beating the pandemic latest news, royalty, even celebrity news and the case has been featured by most of the daily newspaper titles.
Caterpillar cakes are obviously important to us as consumers, and the fact that two supermarket giants are going to be fighting over the right to make a cake in the shape of a caterpillar is clearly one that has gripped the nation. Now, will it be the Aldi version or the M&S version for our next tea party? Or perhaps one of the others? Just make sure it is a caterpillar.