Snap! Lacoste sues Marks & Spencer over ‘copycat’ croc claim

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First caterpillars, now crocodiles. Marks & Spencer is embroiled in another trademark battle over the size of a creature, Businesshala’s Ellen Milligan writes,

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Lacoste accused the British retailer of infringing on its famous crocodile logo by using similar images on dungarees to duvet covers and even a child’s bucket hat.

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Lacoste said in a lawsuit filed in the High Court of London that it wrote to the storied retailer last year to stop advertising and selling the goods.

Marks & Spencer declined.

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The French fashion brand has now asked a London judge to impose an injunction against the chain and order the crocodile to destroy all items at its expense.

This isn’t the first controversy over creature trademarks that Marks & Spencer has found itself.

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The retailer sued grocery rival Aldi, over allegations it copied its iconic Colin the Caterpillar cake with a similar-looking treat called Cuthbert.

A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer said, “Animal prints are incredibly popular with our customers and last season included decorative crocodile patterns.”

Part of Lacoste’s claim pertains to the products on display in Marks & Spencer’s Roald Dahl collection, most of which have since been sold out.

The retailer has previously featured other creatures from children’s author Roald Dahl’s stories on its products.

“All of these products were made independently of any other retailer and we believe are unique to M&S and will defend strongly against claim,” the spokesperson said.

He has not yet filed his defense papers.

The Lacoste brand was created around 1933 by tennis player René Lacoste, who was nicknamed ‘The Crocodile’, lawyers for the French company said in their filing.

M&S had “no justifiable reason to adopt a branding that is likely to cause confusion, to promote it inappropriately marketing.”

Lacoste did not respond to a request for comment.

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