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Marks & Spencer goes to war with Aldi over caterpillar cake copyright

Marks & Spencer says that Colin the caterpillar is the original but Aldi shot back with the hashtag #FreeCuthbert.
/ Source: TODAY

British retailer Marks & Spencer is taking legal action to defend a cake shaped like a caterpillar.

The company makes a Colin the Caterpillar cake and claims Aldi is selling a copy caterpillar, Cuthbert.

Both are made with sponge cake and chocolate, topped with colorful candies and a smiling, white chocolate face.

Now, the pastry dispute is going all the way to the High Court.

"You might have seen @official_colinthecaterpillar is in the news..." Marks & Spencer posted on Instagram last week. "Colin won’t be commenting, but says thanks for your support," they wrote, throwing down the gauntlet with the hashtag #OGColin and a cute caterpillar emoji.

Marks & Spencer went on to accuse Aldi of "riding on the coat-tails" of its reputation, and of misleading customers that the caterpillars are of the same standard, BBC News reported. Marks & Spencer, which has three trademarks related to Colin, wants Aldi to remove the product from sale and agree not to sell anything similar in the future.

Aldi may be a budget supermarket, but that doesn't mean they have anything but the highest regard for their own caterpillar, Cuthbert. The German-owned discount supermarket came out with some very cutting tweets regarding the challenge to their own chocolatey creation.

"Cuthbert has been found GUILTY… ..of being delicious," tweeted Aldi Stores UK on Friday last week, adding the hashtag #FreeCuthbert.

Many people online found the caterpillar controversy amusing.

"Aldi.. should you lose the legal battle, how about making Cuthbert the caterpillar into a butterfly cake.. same face but with wings!" tweeted one commenter, adding the hashtag #Metamorphosis.

"JUSTICE FOR CUTHBERT," commented another person.

"For the record I found 9 material differences between the two so there is no infringement," wrote a Cuthbert supporter. "Moreover I’m not sure someone doing their shop in Aldi would get home and confuse their purchase (in an Aldi bag with the receipt) as coming from M&S.... just saying"

Aldi also announced a packaging update showing Cuthbert locked up in a prison cell and then tweeted: "Marks & Snitches more like."

But the drama doesn't end there. There are actually multiple other caterpillar cakes sold at different UK retailers some tweeters pointed out, questioning why Aldi landed in Marks & Spencer's crosshairs.

"Cecil, Wiggles, Curly, Clyde. We got you," Aldi cheekily name-dropped the caterpillars in a tweet.

Marks & Spencer was the first retailer to sell a caterpillar cake, starting in 1990 and has sold approximately 15 million of them. So far no word on whether Waitrose, Tesco and other retailers will see their caterpillars' days in court.