Grocery store chain Lidl has been ordered to quickly withdraw its Hampstead gin model throughout Scotland following a trademark battle with the producer of Hendrick’s.
Hendrick’s Gin maker William Grant & Sons took the German low cost retailer to courtroom over Lidl’s alleged trademark infringement within the UK.
On the Courtroom of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Clark gave the Glenfiddich proprietor an interim interdict, which quickly prevents Lidl from promoting Hampstead gin in Scotland.
The UK trademark for Scottish gin model Hendrick’s depicts the apothecary-style form of the bottle and its diamond-shaped label. The model was launched in 2000 and sells a couple of million instances yearly.
Lidl owns the UK trademark for the phrase ‘Hampstead’ underneath class 33 for alcoholic drinks. The retailer unveiled a brand new design for the own-label gin in 2020, and adjusted its bottle dimension from 500ml to 700ml.
The redesigned product was bought in shops throughout the UK from December final 12 months. Hampstead Gin has been bought by Lidl for a minimum of a decade, the lawsuit mentioned.
The lawsuit famous that the redesign consisted of quite a few modifications that ‘couldn’t have been unintended’, together with amending the label and the color of the bottle to an identical color utilized by Hendrick’s, and that includes pictures of cucumbers, that are sometimes related to the William Grant model.
Moreover, Hampstead’s ABV was modified to 41.4%, the identical as Hendrick’s.
The lawsuit mentioned: “Customers would recognise the frequent parts within the getup and assume that the pursuer is concerned within the manufacture or sale of Hampstead gin.”
As such, this is able to result in ‘model dilution and lack of gross sales’ for the Hendrick’s Gin producer, the lawsuit continued.
The lawsuit mentioned: “The one credible rationalization for these design modifications was that the defenders supposed to commerce off the pursuer’s repute and goodwill.”
Lord Clark famous that Hampstead gin is priced at £15.99 (US$23), whereas Hendrick’s gin retails at roughly £30 (US$42).
William Grant additionally introduced posts on social media that referenced the similarities between the 2 merchandise.
In its defence, Lidl mentioned Hendrick’s was not bought in any of its shops in Nice Britain and by no means had been. Lidl mentioned its typical buyer wouldn’t look forward to finding Hendrick’s on the market in its shops.
Moreover, the retailer pointed to the truth that 90% of its merchandise are own-label items.
Lord Clark concluded that there was a “affordable prospect of success on the a part of the pursuer in exhibiting a change in financial behaviour or an actual chance of such a change by clients who purchase from Lidl, and therefore that it has created an unfair benefit”.
“There’s some assist inside that (social media) materials for the proposition of Lidl using on the coattails of the Hendrick’s mark in order to profit from its attraction and likewise that this might affect the financial behaviour of the defenders’ clients,” added Clark.
The courtroom’s ruling solely applies to Scotland.
Lidl mentioned in an announcement: “Though naturally disillusioned, we notice the courtroom’s determination and have carefully adhered to the necessities outlined inside the ruling.
“We proceed to liaise immediately with the events concerned and hope to achieve a passable decision in the end.”
William Grant & Sons mentioned it could not touch upon ongoing courtroom instances.