Aldi loses court appeal in 'strikingly similar' festive gin bottle row with M&S

27 February 2024, 15:13

M&S introduced a new line of Christmas gin products in 2020, with Aldi launching its product line the following year.
M&S introduced a new line of Christmas gin products in 2020, with Aldi launching its product line the following year. Picture: Alamy/PA
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

Aldi has lost an appeal against a High Court ruling which found it had copied the design of Marks & Spencer's light-up Christmas gin bottles.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

A judge ruled in January last year that the German supermarket chain had infringed the design of its rival's product.

Judge Richard Hacon said there were "striking" similarities which would be "significant" to shoppers, stating that the differences pointed out by Aldi were "relatively minor".

M&S' gin bottle is adorned in gold sparkles and showcases a winter scene with white silhouettes of trees, snowy ground, and reindeer.

Aldi's gin bottle is the same shape and portrays a winter scene with gold flake clementine and orange and white trees.

M&S' bottle (left) and Aldi's gin (right).
M&S' bottle (left) and Aldi's gin (right). Picture: PA

Aldi took the case to the Court of Appeal but in a ruling on Tuesday, Lord Justice Arnold, Lord Justice Moylan and Lord Justice Lewison dismissed the appeal, unanimously agreeing that Judge Hacon was "fully entitled" to make his decision.

Read more: Revealed: UK's worst supermarkets ranked - where does your favourite list?

Read more: Ambassador to Spain wades into 'cultural appropriation' row over M&S ‘Spanish’ croquettes that are filled with paella

Lord Justice Arnold said: "He made no error of principle in comparing the overall impressions of the Aldi products with those of the registered designs, and his conclusion was one that he was fully entitled to reach."

M&S introduced a new line of Christmas gin products in 2020, with Aldi launching its product line the following year.

But M&S took legal action after claiming that Aldi's gin products were "strikingly similar" to its own.

Aldi had denied the allegations but Judge Hacon found that their products were similar to that of M&S in five ways, including the "identical" bottle shape, the background "winter scene" and the light integrated into the bottles.

M&S’ gin bottle is adorned in gold sparkles and showcases a winter scene with white silhouettes of trees, snowy ground, and reindeer.
M&S’ gin bottle is adorned in gold sparkles and showcases a winter scene with white silhouettes of trees, snowy ground, and reindeer. . Picture: Alamy

Following Tuesday's ruling, an M&S spokesperson said: "We love to innovate for our customers and we're proud of our suppliers who help us bring exciting new products to market every year.

"That's why we take intellectual property seriously and will always defend our rights against infringement - companies that seek to copy rather than innovate harm hundreds of small suppliers who have invested in innovation to grow their business."

An Aldi spokesperson said: "We are disappointed with this judgement and are considering our position, as we still believe there is no merit in the case put forward by M&S.

"We will continue to innovate and develop exciting, high-quality products for our customers."

This is not the first time the two chains have had a dispute about products.

M&S took legal action after claiming that Aldi&squot;s gin products were "strikingly similar" to its own.
M&S took legal action after claiming that Aldi's gin products were "strikingly similar" to its own. Picture: Alamy

In 2021, M&S accused Aldi of copying their signature Colin the Caterpillar cake.

As a result, Aldi had to take 'Cuthbert the Caterpillar' off the shelves.

However, Cuthbert returned to shelves in June 2022 after a redesign.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Joe Biden has reaffirmed the US's commitment to defending Israel's security.

Biden reaffirms ‘ironclad commitment’ to Israel as he plans G7 meeting to coordinate ‘diplomatic response to Iran attack’

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

‘Together we will win’: Netanyahu vows to fight off attacks from Iran after over 300 drones and missiles fired at Israel

Israeli's military have fought off a massive Iranian drone and missile attack - downing more than 200 weapons launched by the hostile state with the help of ace RAF pilots.

Israel fights off massive Iran attack - downing over 200 missiles and drones with help of RAF

Plans have been drawn up for an evacuation of Brits from the Middle East. Defence Secretary Grant Shapps (l) and protesters outside the British Embassy in Tehran (r)

Brits living in the Middle East could be rescued by the Royal Marines in 'Dunkirk-style' evacuation

The knifeman who killed six people in a rampage at a Sydney shopping centre has been named as 40-year-old Joel Cauchi (left)

Pictured: Sydney knifeman, 40, who killed six people before being shot dead by brave policewoman

Iranian drones and missiles have arrived in Israel with explosions in the skies - as officials warn of a "significant response" to the massive attack.

Explosions in skies and sirens across Jerusalem amid Iranian attack - as Israel warns of 'significant response'

USS Bataan which is heading to the Eastern Mediterranean (main) and Joe Biden (r)

US sends amphibious warship and 2,500 Marines into the Eastern Mediterranean after Iran attacks Israel

US and UK forces are helping defend Israel from Iranian drones and missiles after a massive attack was launched.

British and American jets 'shoot down Iranian drones' as Rishi Sunak slams Iran for 'reckless' attack against Israel

President Biden is holding an emergency national security meeting as the US prepares its response to Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

President Biden holds high-stakes emergency meeting as Iran launches full-scale attack on Israel

Iron Dome Rocket Interceptions of Hamas Rockets- Southern Israel- Night Attack On Ashdod City

Israel closes airspace as it braces for Iranian drone attack

Iranian attack drones are 'en route to Israel', according to an Israeli Defence Force spokesperson.

Iran launches massive drone and missile attack on Israel as war in Middle East escalates

A mother who was stabbed while trying to defend her baby from the Sydney shopping centre knifeman has been pictured for the first time.

Pictured: Mother, 38, killed defending her baby from Sydney shopping centre massacre

Exclusive
Nearly 18,000 police officers were hired virtually by forces, prompting fears of another Wayne Couzens, LBC can reveal.

Nearly 18,000 police officers hired without face-to-face interviews by forces prompting fears of new Wayne Couzens

Lee Anderson's wife has been suspended by the Conservative party after being allegedly spotted campaigning for her husband's party Reform UK.

Lee Anderson's Tory councillor wife suspended from party after appearing to campaign for Reform in Ashfield

Election 2024 Decision Notes Alaska Wyoming

Biden wins Wyoming’s caucuses as eyes turn to Alaskan democrats