Marks & Spencer takes on Aldi over Colin the Caterpillar lookalike

An M&S Colin the Caterpillar cake Credit: Marks and Spencer

Marks & Spencer has started legal action against Aldi, claiming the budget store infringed the trademark of the iconic Colin the Caterpillar cake.

M&S, which lodged an intellectual property claim with the High Court this week, argues that the likeness of Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar leads consumers to believe they are of the same standard.

It added that Aldi “ride[s] on the coat-tails” of M&S’s reputation with the product.

M&S wants Aldi to remove the product from sale and agree not to sell anything similar in the future.

Marks & Spencer wants Aldi to remove its Cuthbert the Caterpillar product from sale and agree not to sell anything similar in the future Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

A spokesperson 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.”

M&S launched Colin the Caterpillar around 30 years ago. His appearance has been largely unchanged since around 2004, except for adaptations for events such as Halloween and Christmas, and related products such as Connie the Caterpillar.

The product is central to M&S’s partnership with cancer charity Macmillan, and the retailer has created a Colin product for the annual World’s Biggest Coffee Morning fundraising event.

The cake is a sponge with milk chocolate and buttercream, topped with chocolate sweets and a smiling white chocolate face.

M&S has three trademarks relating to Colin, which the retailer believes means Colin has acquired and retains an enhanced distinctive character and reputation.