Puffin redesign ends copy row

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.

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

packaging.



’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

own-label marketers.



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

High Court.



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

alternatives.