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Aldi loses court case against M&S over snow globe gin liqueur

After a lawsuit lasting more than a year, the High Court in London has ruled that discount supermarket chain Aldi infringed the design of Marks & Spencer’s festive gin liqueur bottle.

M&S’ gin bottle.

The light-up M&S bottle was released in the run-up to Christmas 2020 and proved to be a hit with consumers. The following year, Aldi released its own The Infusionist Small Batch gin which, like the M&S product, also had a bell-shaped light up bottle with gold glitter within. In December that year, M&S sued Aldi over alleged copyright infringement.

After a lengthy court case, Aldi has been found guilty of infringing upon the M&S design.

Aldi’s snow globe gin liqueur.

Judge Richard Hacon, of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, said: “Going back to the statutory test, it is whether the [designs] in suit and the Aldi bottles produce a different overall impression. In my judgement, they do not because of the features they have in common.”

A spokesperson for M&S said: “We are pleased with the judgment, which demonstrates the importance of protecting our innovation…Like many other UK businesses, large and small, we know the true value and cost of innovation and the enormous time, passion, creativity, energy and attention to detail, that goes into designing, developing and bringing a product to market.”

As a result of the judgement, Aldi may have to pay damages, or be forced to pull the product.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “Aldi is committed to offering customers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.”

It isn’t just with snow globes that Aldi has shaken M&S up. Earlier this year, the High Court ruled that Aldi’s Cuthbert The Caterpillar cake did not infringe on the design of M&S’ famous Colin.

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