Aldi - Aquabridge Law

The UK-based company, Pleese, has accused Aldi of copying its product and infringing on its intellectual property (IP) rights.

The product at the center of the claim is ‘Freezecakes’ which is a scoopable frozen cheesecake in a tub made from 40% cream cheese with flavored sauces and biscuit pieces.

Pleese claims that Aldi has infringed its rights by using an almost identical name, slogan, and flavors for its own product.

The trademark IT’S NOT ICE CREAM is used by Pleese on the Freezecakes product, and Aldi has displayed the exact wording on the alleged infringing product.

During a recent interview, an Aldi spokesperson said: “We go to great lengths to ensure that all our own exclusive Aldi brand products adhere to strict copyright guidelines.” Many would argue that is not the case.

Further, as many may already be aware, this is not the first time Aldi has been at the center of an IP dispute. For example, Aldi has been in previous disputes with Marks and Spencer over caterpillar cakes and light-up gin bottles.

The function of a trademark is to act as an indication of origin and not to gain a monopoly over the market. It can be argued that Pleese is gaining a monopoly over the market by having trademark protection in place, as it is using a generic and descriptive term such as ‘it’s not ice cream’ for the product it is selling, which is in fact not ice cream. However, Pleese is within its powers to enforce the rights it has been afforded through trademark law in the UK.

Aldi is usually up against a larger company perhaps taking its protection too far, but in this case, Aldi is potentially infringing the IP rights of a smaller company. How will the public perceive this? Could this be potentially damaging to Aldi’s reputation if it copies and passes off products created by a smaller company?

The bigger brands need to assess their claims on a case-by-case basis and take into consideration how big of an issue it could be if a smaller company starts using their branding on their products. For example, will the public be confused by the two businesses and the products? However, for a smaller company like Pleese, Aldi selling an identical product for a cheaper price could really affect Pleese’s sales and the business.


This article was written by Craig Kelly, one of our Corporate and Commercial Associate Solicitors for The Trademark Lawyer magazine.

If you would like advice on Intellectual Property rights please contact Craig Kelly on 07955 266436 or