Lidl forced to stop selling ‘Hampstead’ gin after being sued
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Lidl has been temporarily forced to stop selling Hampstead, which was introduced in the supermarket in 2012 but appeared in its revamped guise in December 2020.
Hendrick’s gin has become known for its diamond shaped label, which the company trademarked in January 2012. own brand), the defenders did stock other big brands in their United Kingdom stores, such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Heinz, Nescafe, Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and San Miguel.
“The defenders’ customers were aware that well known brands can be purchased in the defenders’ supermarkets often at discounted prices in comparison to other retailers.”
He went on to say that Lidl failed to sell Hendrick’s, so Lidl customers would “be familiar with Lidl’s own label brands, such as Hampstead”, but would not expect to find Hendrick’s in store.
With regards to the trade mark, Lord Clark said: “Notwithstanding the existence of some measure of dissimilarity, having regard to a comprehensive assessment, there is a sufficient basis to argue visual and conceptual similarity between the mark and the sign.
“Bottle shape and colour are often intended to be distinguishing features of gin 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 recognised on the market.
“I do consider that there is sufficient material, from the information put before me, to infer (for the purposes of a prima facie case) that there was a deliberate alteration of the get up of the Hampstead product to seek to cause at least an association with Hendrick’s.
“The defenders also have another get up to sell the product, which is not challenged, so it is just the sales of Hampstead in this particular get up that are stopped.”
Commenting on evidence provided by Hendrick’s from social media, in which customers likened Hampstead to a cheap, less enjoyable version of Hendrick’s, Lord Clark said: “From the material put before me, I am in no doubt that the trademark relied upon has a reputation in the United Kingdom.
“I therefore conclude that there is a reasonable prospect of success on the part of the pursuer in showing a change in economic behaviour or a real likelihood of such a change by customers who buy from Lidl, and hence that it has created an unfair advantage.”.