Marks & Spencer is taking legal action to protect its Colin the Caterpillar cake – after Aldi produced a rival called Cuthbert.
The High Street giant lodged an intellectual property claim with the High Court alleging its German competitor's sweet treat – also a caterpillar – infringes its trademark.
M&S is arguing the similarity of Aldi’s product leads consumers to believe they are chocolate cakes are of the same standard.
The UK store claims its rival is attempting to "ride on the coattails" of Colin's success.
M&S wants Aldi to remove Cuthbert the Caterpillar from sale and agree not to flog anything similar in the future.
The company claims Colin has largely been unchanged since the cake's 1990 launch – except for special adaptations at Halloween and Christmas.
The cake – which has clocked up more than 15 million sales – is a sponge with milk chocolate and buttercream.
Colin has 15 colourful milk chocolate sweets on his back, six white chocolate feet and a smiling face made from the same.
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It takes a team of 47 people to make each one from start to finish.
David Beckham and Dame Judi Dench have both celebrated their birthdays with Colin the Caterpillar cakes – and ex-PM David Cameron is a huge fan.
The product is central to M&S’s partnership with cancer charity Macmillan. The company created a special version for the annual World’s Biggest Coffee Morning fundraising event.
M&S has three trademarks relating to Colin which it believes means he has acquired and retains an enhanced distinctive character and reputation.
Colin even married in 2017 when the firm introduced his 'wife' Connie the Caterpillar – filled with strawberry buttercream instead of chocolate and decorated with pink chocolate sweets.
An M&S spokesman said: "Because we know the M&S brand is special to our customers and they expect only the very best from us, love and care goes into every M&S product on our shelves.
"So we want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.''
Aldi declined to comment on Thursday.
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