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Lidl ordered to stop selling ‘lookalike’ gin after judge says it’s too similar to Hendrick’s

Discounter Lidl has been told it must stop selling a redesigned bottle of gin that a judge has said breaches the trademarks of upmarket rival brand Hendrick’s. 

Lidl lookalike gin
Credit: Twitter/sillytees

Lord Clark awarded an interim interdict in favour of the makers of Hendrick’s gin, the BBC reports, which will prevent Lidl from selling the redesigned bottles in Scotland.

William Grant and Sons Irish Brands Ltd instructed its lawyers to take action against the discount supermarket, believing that its Hampstead gin closely resembled its own Hendrick’s gin in its design features.

The company said that Lidl had adopted its “apothecary-style bottle” upon redesigning its own Hampstead gin bottle, and that its diamond label was changed to resemble its own pale-coloured label.

A written judgement from Lord Clark reads:

“I accept that the pursuer in the present case has not (as yet) provided a sufficient basis to show a reasonable prospect of success in establishing a change in the economic behaviour of the average consumer or a serious likelihood that such a change will occur in the future. I do however recognise that there is at least some risk to the pursuer of harm to the brand.

“I take that factor into account and find that there is a reasonable prospect of success for the pursuer in showing that the defenders intended to benefit from the reputation and goodwill of the pursuer’s mark.

“Whether or not there was a deliberate intention to deceive, there is a sufficient basis for showing that there was an intention to benefit. It is difficult to view the re-design, including the change in colour of the bottle, as accidental or coincidental.

“I therefore conclude that there is a reasonable prospect of success on the part of the pursuer in showing a change in economic behaviour or a real likelihood of such a change by customers who buy from Lidl.”

Social media comments on the bottle’s design were read out at an earlier court hearing, per the BBC. 

One read, “Hmmm…Reminds me of another gin, but I just can’t put my finger on it…” While another read, “Looks a lot like another bottle of gin”, followed by the winking emoji.

A spokesman for Lidl expressed the discounter’s disappointment at the ruling, stating:

“We note the court’s decision and have closely adhered to the requirements outlined within the ruling.

“We continue to liaise directly with the parties involved and hope to reach a satisfactory resolution in due course.”

Lord Clark said Lidl would be able to continue selling its Hampstead gin in a different design form than its current iteration.

This follows the protracted legal saga between Aldi and Marks and Spencer, which is suing the discount retailer for infringement of its Colin the Caterpillar cake trademark.

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