M&S begins legal action against Aldi over Colin the Caterpillar cakeon April 15, 2021 at 11:35 am

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A High Court claim by the retailer argues its rival’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar infringes its trademark.

Marks & Spencer's Colin the Caterpillar

image copyrightPA Media

Marks & Spencer has begun legal action against Aldi, arguing the supermarket’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake infringes its Colin the Caterpillar trademark.

M&S argues 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.

The product was launched around 30 years ago. Colin’s appearance has been substantially unchanged since around 2004, except for adaptations for events such as Halloween and Christmas, and related products such as Connie the Caterpillar.

A spokesman said: “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.

“So we want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.”

Colin is central to M&S’s partnership with cancer charity Macmillan, and the retailer has created a Colin product for the annual World’s Biggest Coffee Morning fundraising event.

The cake is a sponge with milk chocolate and buttercream, topped with chocolate sweets and a smiling white chocolate face.

M&S was the first retailer to sell a caterpillar cake, but many supermarkets have since created their own similar products.

Other cakes include Waitrose’s Cecil, Sainsbury’s Wiggles, Tesco’s Curly, and Asda’s Clyde the Caterpillar.

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