Marks & Spencer has commenced an intellectual property action against Aldi over its Colin the Caterpillar children's cake, claiming that a similar product available at the discounter infringes on its trademark.
The claim was lodged with the UK High Court this week, with M&S stating that Aldi's Cuthbert the Caterpillar product infringes its trademark, and was developed to 'ride on the coat-tails' of Marks & Spencer's longstanding reputation, according to reports.
Colin The Caterpillar
Marks & Spencer launched the Colin the Caterpillar cake in 1990, and it has formed part of several marketing campaigns at the retailer, including its partnership with cancer charity Macmillan.
Marks & Spencer also introduced Connie the Caterpillar in 2016, in order to 'find a wife' for Colin, and gave that product a makeover for Mother's Day this year, by covering it in yellow and pink flowers.
It has also unveiled a number of spin-off products, including 'mini caterpillars', an extra large version of the cake, and individually-portioned SKUs featuring Colin's smiling face.
The UK retailer has ordered Aldi to remove the Cuthbert the Caterpillar product from sale in its stores, and to agree not to sell anything similar in the future, according to reports.
“Because we know the M&S brand is special to our customers and they expect only the very best from us, love and care goes into every M&S product on our shelves,” a spokesman told PA.
“So we want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.”
In January, Marks & Spencer reported a 7.6% like-for-like drop in revenue in the third quarter, seeing a 2.6% increase in food sales and a 24.1% decline in clothing and homewares.