Bulmer’s shelves suit against Matthew Clark

Bulmer’s has dropped legal action against rival cider maker Matthew Clark made over allegations that it copied the design of its Stronbow range (MW March 19).

Matthew Clark relaunched its Dry Blackthorn cider range in March with what it called “a distinctive and contemporary new look”, backed by a 7m advertising campaign through Grey.

Bulmer’s claimed the new design for Blackthorn was similar to the design of its own Strongbow brand because it had a gold arrow chevron coming down from the T, against a black background. The company threatened to take legal action against Clark over the issue and its lawyers despatched a letter.

But in a statement issued yesterday (Tuesday), Bulmer’s said it would “not be progressing” the action. “We maintain our position that the new Dry Blackthorn packaging has moved closer to that of Strongbow. We will be monitoring the brand for any future instances where we feel there is evidence of infringement of the Strongbow design, or of confusion among consumers.”

Clark says that it has taken legal advice on Bulmer’s accusations and is “declining to make any changes”.

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