Magazine article Marketing

Penguin Forces Asda Redesign

Magazine article Marketing

Penguin Forces Asda Redesign

Article excerpt

United Biscuits has won its landmark 'passing off' case against Asda over the similarity of its McVitie's Penguin biscuits to the retailer's Puffin bars - the first time that a manufacturer has taken a retailer to court over a lookalike product.

The High Court found that the packaging of Asda's Puffin, its colour, typography and use of the Puffin character, was "deceptively similar" to that of Penguin.

But, in a further example of the lack of clear direction offered by the legal system over lookalikes, UB lost its claim that the Puffin name alone infringed Penguin's registered trade mark.

Asda said it intends to continue to sell its biscuits under the Puffin name, although it will have to alter other elements of the packaging. Asda must pay UB's costs, said to be over [pounds]100,000, plus damages, which have yet to be decided.

The question of how great the changes in packaging will have to be was confused further by the judge's refusal to be drawn on what alterations were acceptable. …

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