In a Colin the Caterpillar-style trademark row, a pair of gin sellers have gone to court over the design of their products.
William Grant and Sons Irish Brands Ltd, the makers of Hendrick’s gin, won an interim interdict against Lidl earlier this year, stopping it selling a “redesigned” own brand version of the drink outside Scotland.
The firm believes the retail giant’s Hampstead gin brand resembles its own “apothecary-style bottle”.
Grant’s claims sales of Hendrick’s could be affected by Hampstead.
Lord Clark agreed with the submissions and concluded the firm may have a case to argue Lidl breached trade mark legislation.
The judge passed a court order which prevented Lidl from selling the “redesigned” Hampstead gin in Scotland.
Lawyers for the supermarket then addressed appeal judges at the Inner House of the Court of Session to argue Lord Clark had made errors in his judgment.
They wanted the court order to be quashed.
Judges Lord Carloway, Lord Woolman, and Lord Pentland rejected the arguments made by the supermarket.
However, they then upheld submissions made by the drink company’s lawyers asking for the interim interdict to be extended to ensure the redesigned Hampstead gin could not be sold in other parts of the United Kingdom.
Changed bottle’s appearance
In proceedings earlier this year, Wiliam Grant’s legal team argued the Lidl redesign changed the colour of the diamond-shaped label from white to a similar pale colour used on the bottle in the Hendrick’s trademark.
They argued the label was changed to look like the Hendrick’s one and the bottle was in a darker colour, replicating the famous dark brown/black colour used by Hendrick’s.
The lawyers also said the redesign contained images of cucumbers – and this ‘alluded’ to the fact that Hendrick’s was unique in being served to drinkers with cucumbers.
They also pointed to comments made on social media in which people remarked on the similarities between the two products.
The action brought by William Grant follows one brought earlier this year to the English high court by Marks & Spencer against Aldi.
M&S claim Aldi is breaching its intellectual property rights over its Colin the Caterpillar cake by selling its Cuthbert cake.