Asda has redesigned its Puffin bars, bringing to an end its
long-running ’copycatting’ row with United Biscuits over their
similarity to the Penguin brand.
Three months after the High Court ruled that the packaging of Puffin was
’deceptively similar’ to McVitie’s Penguin biscuits, Asda has axed its
cartoon bird character and altered the typography on the packs. Asda
said the packs will be ’rolled out over the next couple of months’.
Originally, the High Court gave the retailer 35 days to sell the old
stock and redesign the packaging. But at the end of April, McVitie’s
agreed to grant Asda, one of its biggest distributors, a legal extension
until the end of June.
A McVitie’s spokeswoman said the company retains a good relationship
with Asda and it liaised with the store in the development of the new
’We’re now happy that the designs are significantly different and our
legal action is at an end,’ she said.
The case was the first time a lookalike own-label product had been
crushed in the High Court.
However, UB lost its original claim that the Puffin name infringed
Penguin’s registered trade mark, thus diluting the warning sent out to
Last month, Asda settled a similar dispute with IDV over its own-label
spirits brands just days before the two sides were due to meet in the
Asda is the only one of the ’big four’ supermarkets which has refused to
sign an industry-sponsored code of conduct on design. An Asda spokesman
said the Puffin redesign had no implications for other own-label