Aldi has lost a court battle against Marks & Spencer after being accused of copying the design of its light-up Christmas gin bottles.

The High Court ruled that Aldi infringed the design of its rival’s product despite the German discounter denying the accusations.

The ruling could mean Aldi would have to pay damages to M&S or pass on profits from sales of the product.

Aldi said it will appeal against the judgment.

Central Fife Times: A Marks & Spencer light-up gin bottle (left) and Aldi’s version (right)A Marks & Spencer light-up gin bottle (left) and Aldi’s version (right) (Image: Stobbs IP/PA)

M&S sued Aldi for allegedly infringing the design of its “light-up gin bottles” which were sold during Christmas 2020, claiming that Aldi’s 2021 gold flake blackberry and clementine gin liqueurs were “strikingly similar” to its own products.

Lawyers for M&S said their client’s designs were part of its “Gin Globes Project” which saw products first launched in 2019.

The idea for a light in the base of the bottle came to a product developer who saw lighting shops in London’s Kensington High Street, the high street bellwether said.

An M&S spokesman said: “We are pleased with the judgment, which demonstrates the importance of protecting our innovation.

“For over 138 years, customers have turned to M&S for unique, original, quality products – conceived, created and developed by us working with our trusted suppliers and produced to the highest standards.

“Like many other UK businesses, large and small, we know the true value and cost of innovation and the enormous time, passion, creativity, energy and attention to detail, that goes into designing, developing and bringing a product to market.

“Our customers have confidence in our products because they trust our quality and sourcing standards so we will always seek to protect our reputation for quality, innovation and value.”

An Aldi spokesman said: “We are disappointed with this judgment and will be appealing the decision.

“Aldi is committed to offering customers the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices.”

The case wasn’t the first legal wrangle between the two companies as M&S had previously accused the discount supermarket chain of copying the design of its Colin the Caterpillar cake.

The firms reached a settlement over the dispute last year.