M&S agrees settlement with Swizzels in Percy Pig court case

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Marks & Spencer has agreed a settlement with British sweet-maker Swizzels after accusing it of copying its much-loved Percy Pigs.

M&S said it had reached an “amicable resolution” with Swizzels, who had agreed to change the design of its Pigs Mugs treats.

M&S lawyers had claimed that the sweets were so alike that customers might have ended up buying the wrong ones.

A 37-page document filed at the High Court in London in November said the Percy Pig brand had generated a £131.7 million turnover since its launch in 1993 and currently 271 bags were sold a minute.

An M&S spokesman said: “M&S has a proud history as a leading innovator and for almost 140 years customers have turned to M&S for unique, original, quality products – conceived, created and developed alongside trusted suppliers and produced to the highest standards.

“M&S has made a significant investment in building a strong Percy Pig brand over the past 30 years and believe it is important to protect the registered trademarks relating to Percy Pig’s appearance.”

Founded in 1928, Derbyshire-based Swizzels is well-known for classics such as Refreshers, Parma Violets and Drumsticks and has been selling its Pigs Mugs sweets since 1996.

M&S has previously taken well-publicised legal action against retailers for infringing their trademarks, but in this case they have taken action against a manufacturer.

Earlier this year, Aldi lost a court battle against Marks & Spencer after being accused of copying its light-up Christmas gin bottles.

The High Court ruled that Aldi infringed the design of its rival’s product, in a major blow to the German discounter, which had denied the accusations.

The case was the latest legal wrangle between the companies, after M&S had previously accused the discount supermarket chain of copying the design of its Colin the Caterpillar cake.

The firms reached a settlement over the dispute last year.

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