With us in your corner, the commercial side of your business is in safe hands.

Practical, focused and fast when you need us to be, we pay attention to the detail while keeping things moving – leaving you to stay focused on your next move.

Whether you’re buying, selling, structuring or investing in your business, let us do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to.

Legal expertise that supports your employees and your business. We’re always available and always ready to step in when you need us. 

Our breadth of expertise means you’ll be prepped and ready to handle the unique challenges of this fast-paced and ever-changing sector. 

Your business is unique. We’ll help you keep it that way. 

Our deep level of sector expertise means we’re the go-to law firm for clients leading the way in the low-carbon industry. 

Same, same but different

In recent years we have seen the rise in cut price supermarkets and affordable retailers.  Whilst many of these supermarkets fail to offer our favourite brands, it appears that they offer similar products with almost identical labelling.  So how are they getting away with it? 

Thatchers Cider Company Limited recently issued proceedings against Aldi Stores Limited in respect of Aldi’s sale of its “Taurus cloudy cider”.  Thatchers relied on its registered trade mark “Thatchers Cloudy Lemon (and Device)” and alleged trade mark infringement and passing off. 

Aldi accepted that it used Thatchers’ product as a “benchmark” but denied any act of trade mark infringement.   

In the circumstances, the judge held that Aldi had not infringed Thatchers’ trade mark as there was no “likelihood of confusion”.  The judge ruled that whilst Aldi’s use of the mark caused a link in the mind of the average consumer, it did not take unfair advantage of the mark.  The judge also found that Aldi was not liable in passing off as there was no misrepresentation that Aldi was connected to Thatchers.    

The judge was also invited to conduct a blind taste test.  Whilst the judge acknowledged that the taste of the two products were similar, she accepted that they were different. 

So, the question remains, would you be confused by a cut price version of your favourite brand in a discount supermarket?  And if you were an owner of a valuable high-quality brand in which you had invested significant development and marketing costs, would you be willing to allow this act to continue?  Maybe extending the scope of your trade mark portfolio, obtaining design right protection for your bottle shape or label could be an additional preventative step to deter infringers.  Thoughts on a postcard…

To view the full judgement, please follow the link below:

Thatchers v Aldi FINAL Judgment IP-2022-000076 (judiciary.uk)

Get in touch

If you are a brand owner and would like to discuss protecting or enforcing your intellectual property rights further, Rebecca Anforth (Legal Director), would be delighted to hear from you.  You can reach Rebecca on 07984 692100 or you can email her rebecca.anforth@murrellassociates.co.uk.   

Key contacts

Rebecca Anforth

Legal Director

Rebecca Anforth

Legal Director

Rebecca leads our intellectual property team and is recognised by the Legal 500 for her in-depth knowledge of intellectual property law.

More About Rebecca