Lidl has been banned from selling its own-brand gin, after the Court of Session ruled there had been a “deliberate alteration” of its “get-up” to resemble Hendrick’s.
Although Lidl’s Hampstead gin has been on its shelves for at least a decade, the bottle was redesigned last year.
William Grant and Sons, which produces Hendrick’s, claimed these changes had aped its product’s shape, colour and diamond-shaped label.
The company’s legal team cited numerous social media reactions to the discounter’s gin, including: “Blatant copying and ripping off of reputable brands”, “looks like a complete rip off of Hendricks!!” and “fake copy of Hendricks”.
“Whether or not there was a deliberate intention to deceive, there is a sufficient basis for showing that there was an intention to benefit,” Lord Clarke said in a written judgement.
“It is difficult to view the redesign, including the change in colour of the bottle, as accidental or coincidental.”
He cited the social posts as evidence that Lidl was “riding on the coat-tails” of Hendrick’s.
A Lidl spokesman told the PA news agency they were “naturally disappointed” but had “closely adhered to the requirements outlined within the ruling”.
The news comes after Marks and Spencer began legal action against Aldi last month, claiming the discounter’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake infringed its Colin the Caterpillar trademark.