The Lawsuit Against Aldi's Cute Caterpillar Cake Is Finally Resolved

It seems that Aldi U.K.'s Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake has emerged from its legal cocoon. According to The Guardian, Marks & Spencer, the British retailer that sued Aldi for intellectual property infringement, has settled its lawsuit. The retailer's original claim asserted that Aldi's Cuthbert bore too many similarities to M&S's Colin the Caterpillar cake, from the chocolate sponge cake itself to the candies place along the bug's back. The lawsuit alleged that the two caterpillar cakes would cause customer confusion and dilute the Colin the Caterpillar brand, so Aldi should stop selling its version of the dessert.

Although the terms of the two parties' agreement were not disclosed, it sounds like Aldi will be able to continue selling Cuthbert. A spokesperson for the grocery chain said, "Cuthbert is free and looking forward to seeing all his fans again very soon!" However, The Guardian clarifies that Cuthbert will not look like his former self — and it's unclear what exactly that means. While Cuthbert may have broken free, only time will tell if he becomes a butterfly and soars high.

Why does Marks & Spencer keep suing Aldi?

While Caterpillargate is settled, Marks & Spencer isn't giving Aldi a free pass on other intellectual property claims. According to the Retail Gazette, M&S also sued Aldi last December for intellectual property infringement of its Christmas gin. The claim alleged that Aldi's product had the same bottle shape, lighting capabilities, and gold flake suspension as M&S's item. If you look at pictures, it doesn't take too many shots of gin to see how the two bottles blur into something quite similar.

As for why M&S has chosen to pursue lengthy legal battles with Aldi, it seems to be all about brand recognition and protecting the value of their signature products. Per The Guardian, M&S feared that customers choosing Aldi's caterpillar cake for its lower price would think that it was similar in quality to M&S's version. While price does impact consumer shopping, value is subjective — and even though two items might look similar, they could provide a different experience. By filing these lawsuits, M&S has hoped to keep Aldi from lowering the perceived value of their products.