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M&S wins Aldi lawsuit over gin liqueur

British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has won a trademark lawsuit against discount supermarket Aldi over a gin liqueur range containing gold flakes.

M&S gin liqueurs
M&S took Aldi to court over the trademark for its Light Up Snow Globe Gin Liqueur range

M&S filed the lawsuit in the UK’s High Court on 3 December 2021, alleging that the German retailer’s Infusionist Gold Flake Gin Liqueur range infringes on the trademark of M&S’ Light Up Snow Globe Gin Liqueur.

In autumn 2020, M&S introduced its Light Up Snow Globe Gin Liqueur range ahead of the Christmas period. The line included a clementine-flavoured expression containing 23-carat edible gold leaf, and an LED light at the base of the bottle to illuminate its contents. The gold flakes become suspended in the liquid when the bottle is shaken.

In November 2021, Aldi started selling its Infusionist range of gin liqueurs containing edible gold leaves with a light-up function. The line included a clementine flavour and blackberry variant.

M&S alleged that the advertising and sale of the two Aldi products infringed on four of its designs.

Aldi gin liqueur
Aldi’s Infusionist gin liqueur featured a light-up function

On 31 January 2023, the High Court ruled that Aldi had infringed M&S’ registered designs for its gin liqueur. Aldi is planning to appeal the decision.

An M&S spokesperson said: “We are pleased with the judgement, which demonstrates the importance of protecting our innovation. For over 138 years customers have turned to M&S for unique, original, quality products – conceived, created and developed by us working with our trusted suppliers and produced to the highest standards.

“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.”

The firm added it would “always seek to protect” its reputation.

An Aldi spokesperson said: “We are disappointed with this judgement and will be appealing the decision. Aldi is committed to offering customers the highest quality products, at the lowest possible prices.”

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