This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Thatchers lose trademark fight with Aldi

Thatchers lose trademark fight with Aldi


The brewery faces defeat in a High Court trademark clash against the supermarket chain over cider products

In a recent legal development, Thatchers brewery has suffered a setback in the High Court as Aldi emerges victorious in a trademark dispute over their respective cider offerings. The court ruled in favor of Aldi, asserting that their 'Taurus' cider product adequately distinguishes itself from Thatchers' counterpart, thereby avoiding infringement.

Jeremy Hertzog, Partner, and Chair of the Innovation Department at Mishcon de Reya, provided insights into the court's decision. He highlighted Aldi's strategic approach, stating that Aldi had used Thatchers' product as a benchmark for its packaging design. However, the court deemed that Aldi had taken measures to move a "sufficiently safe distance away" to sidestep any infringement concerns.

The court's evaluation of the likelihood of confusion took into account the perspective of an average consumer browsing the cider shelves at Aldi. The distinct 'shelf stand-out' of Aldi's 'Taurus' brand played a significant role in shaping the court's decision. Elements such as the limited color palette and the use of whole lemons were considered commonplace for lemon-flavored drinks, further contributing to the ruling in Aldi's favor.

A noteworthy aspect of the case was the court's determination that Aldi had not taken unfair advantage of Thatchers' trademark goodwill and reputation. This finding emphasized Aldi's concerted effort to stay within legal boundaries, avoiding an intention to exploit Thatchers' reputation and goodwill.

The case illuminates the intricate challenges faced by rights holders dealing with 'lookalike' products. Hertzog emphasized the importance of considering the potential for similar-looking products in the future when designing packaging and formulating intellectual property protection strategies.

As the legal landscape unfolds, rights holders grapple with the complexities of safeguarding their trademarks against imitations. The Thatchers vs. Aldi case underscores the need for a nuanced approach to packaging design and intellectual property protection in an environment where 'lookalike' products pose significant challenges.

Meanwhile, industry observers await further developments in another case involving Aldi, where the retailer seeks to appeal a finding of registered design infringement related to Marks & Spencer's festive gin bottle designs. These legal battles underscore the constant vigilance required by companies to protect their brands and products in a competitive marketplace.