Lidl has been ordered to remove its own-brand Hampstead gins from its stores in Scotland after being sued by the owner of Hendrick’s gin over alleged trade mark infringement.
In William Grant & Sons Irish Brands Ltd v Lidl Stiftung & Co KG & Ors, Lord Clark of Scotland’s Outer House, Court of Session held that, “notwithstanding the existence of some measure of dissimilarity, there is a sufficient basis to argue visual and conceptual similarity between the mark and the sign” of the competing products.
“I accept that the more distinctive the mark the greater is the likelihood of confusion and that the Hendrick’s mark relied upon is quite distinctive and recognized on the market. I also have regard to the points made regarding the interference to be drawn that the defenders did seek to cause some connection in the mind of the average consumer between the brands”.
“There is some support within that material for the proposition of Lidl riding on the coat-tails of the Hendrick’s mark so as to benefit from its attraction and also that this could influence the economic behaviour of the defenders’ customers”.
The interim interdict, which forces Lidl to remove the product, only applies to Scotland which means Lidl can continue to sell the product elsewhere in the United Kingdom.