Thatchers copycat cider battle with Aldi has reached High Court.
The trademark infringement claim trial entered High Court yesterday (24 November), with Thatchers arguing that Aldi has taken “unfair advantage” of its brand.
It claims the discounter achieved “extraordinarily high” sales from the “highly similar” appearance of the discounter’s own-brand Taurus Cloudy Cider Lemon to its own Cloudy Lemon Cider drink.
Aldi disclosed that it achieved sales of over £1.4m in two years, however there was no evidence of spend on marketing, according to Thatchers’ skeleton argument, The Grocer reported.
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The cider company also claimed that Aldi has taken advantage of its design process which involves “a comprehensive market analysis, feedback, and taste testing process, using over 25,000 litres of the initial cloudy lemon product”.
Thatchers skeleton argument said: “Has there been a benefit to Aldi?
“Aldi’s sales figures are very large in circumstances where there has been no marketing investment, or investment in a product development process other than simply copying the Thatchers product in both taste and appearance.”
“Thatchers says these large sales figures were achieved by reason of the investment Thatchers had made in the Thatchers product, and that Aldi has exploited, free ridden upon, and taken unfair advantage thereof.”
However, Aldi has denied these accusations, claiming: “The core of the distinctiveness in the figurative mark is in the dominant component, and brand name, ‘Thatchers’.”
“All other aspects of the figurative mark are descriptive or at most anodyne.”
Aldi’s skeleton argument continues: “It is denied, as a matter of principle, that there can be any riding on the coat-tails of the reputation of the figurative mark when the only congruence is in non-distinctive or anodyne elements.”
This isn’t the first time the discounter has been taken to court in a copycat battle.
Earlier this year, M&S won its court battle with Aldi, having accused the discounter of copying its light-up festive gin bottle design.