Lidl ordered to stop selling brand of gin following trademark claim

The discount supermarket chain Lidl has been ordered to stop selling its Hampstead gin brand due to a trademark dispute.

The issue arose after the chain started selling the gin in a dark brown/black and opaque, apothecary style bottle bearing a diamond shaped label like that used by the famous brand Hendrick's, which was launched in 2000.

Hendrick’s was granted an interim interdict by an intellectual property judge forbidding Lidl from selling its gin in Scotland, pending proof of trademark infringement and passing off. The interdict did not extend to England or Wales.

Lidl appealed, and Hendrick’s appealed against the decision to allow sales outside Scotland to continue.

The Court of Session found in favour of Hendrick’s.

It noted that Lidl said it had ceased marketing Hampstead gin in the dark bottle in Scotland, but the only cogent reason for that was the existence of the interim interdict. If it were to be recalled, there would be no protection against the reintroduction of the product.

As for the territorial scope of the interdict, the court noted that the trademark regime under the Trade Marks Act 1994 Act was UK wide.

The courts in Scotland and those in England and Wales had an equivalent jurisdiction in relation to infringement proceedings.

Hendrick’s had elected to sue in Scotland, as it was entitled to do. It would be surprising if it were otherwise given that the alleged infringement was being committed partly in Scotland and Hendrick's gin was produced in Scotland.

There was no need to raise separate actions in each jurisdiction. That would be an inefficient use of court time.

The court therefore allowed the cross-appeal to broaden the interdict, so it prevented Lidl selling its Hampstead gin in England and Wales, pending full trial.

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