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15th Apr 2021

Marks and Spencers take legal action against Aldi over “Cuthbert the Caterpillar” cake

Sarah McKenna Barry

M&S claim that Aldi is riding on the coat-tails of Colin the Caterpillar’s reputation.

In the latest war of the supermarkets, Marks and Spencers have launched court action against Aldi, claiming that they are infringing on the trademark of their iconic Colin the Caterpillar cake.

Marks and Spencer lodged an intellectual property claim in the UK’s high court earlier this week. They maintain that Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake is misleading to consumers, and will damage the reputation of their beloved birthday party staple.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said: “Because we know the M&S brand is special to our customers and they expect only the very best from us, love and care goes into every M&S product on our shelves.

“So we want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.”

The Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake is not on sale in Aldi in Ireland.

Marks and Spencer want the German supermarket to remove Cuthbert from sale and agree to not sell similar products going forward.

The British supermarket giant holds three intellectual trademarks in relation to Colin.

The hugely popular cake, which first hit supermarket shelves 30 years ago, has inspired a number of adaptions, including mini Colin cakes and his lady counterpart, Connie the Caterpillar.

Additionally, M&S enjoy a partnership with Macmillan, a UK cancer charity, through the birthday cake.

Earlier this year, M&S released a limited edition Mother’s Day Connie the Caterpillar cake, as well as a special Easter-themed Colin.

Just last week, the supermarket unveiled their latest cake innovation: Colin the Caterpillar cake jars.

This isn’t the first time Aldi have faced legal action in relation to their products. Make-up mogul Charlotte Tilbury was successful in challenging the supermarket over the sale of a a make-up product that bore a striking resemblance to her own.

Tilbury’s representatives quoted one of Aldi’s campaign slogans – “Like brands, only cheaper” – during court proceedings.