M&S sends letter to man asking him to change name of his gelato
A dessert parlour has changed the name of its “Perky Pig Gelato” after a request from Marks & Spencer, which said it was similar to its “Percy Pig” sweets.
Fabio’s Gelato, which is based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, began making its gelato with the “Perky Pig” name last week.
Before its launch, the store posted on social media introducing the product.
It read: “Perky Pig Gelato available in Letchworth tomorrow!
“500ml Perky Pig tubs available in both shops tomorrow. Launching in Hitchin very soon.”
“How long will it be in stock? Depends how fast it’s eaten…”
‘Percy Pig is one of our hero brands’
However, a day later, the ice cream shop put up another post showing a letter sent from M&S taking issue with the name of the product.
The letter said: “While we are flattered that you have been inspired to create a flavour based on our Percy Pig sweets, and in no way wish to stop you from selling this flavour or from using our sweets to top it, we could be grateful if you could avoid using the name PERCY PIG to do so.
“Percy Pig is one of our ‘hero’ brands and we own trade marks to protect it.
“We risk losing those trade marks (and more importantly to us, consumers will no longer be confident Percy Pig-branded products originate from M&S) if we do not take steps to stop others from using them without our permission.”
It continued: “We are keen to resolve this amicably. We would be grateful if you could confirm to us within 14 days of this letter that you have renamed this flavour to one that does not use the PERCY PIG mark or anything similar to it.”
Fabio Vincenti, the director of the ice cream parlour, captioned the post and said: “Soooooo about that Gelato we made… It’s got a new name ‘Fabios Pig’
“M&S put a stop to the original name we used, but they were kind enough to send us some bags of those pink pigs to sweeten the deal.
“Aldi UK can we call it Leo the lion moving forward?,” the social media post said.
The family-run dessert parlour uses different branded items for its flavours, including chocolate bars and energy drinks.
A spokesperson from M&S told Sky News: “Percy Pig™ is the nation’s favourite pig and he’s careful to only put his name on official M&S products.
“It’s flattering that he’s inspired Fabio’s new gelato and we hope they enjoy the treat we sent – Percy Pig sweets of course!”
The Percy Pig products were first launched by M&S in 1992, with its original flavours including strawberry, blackcurrant and raspberry, but the range has grown since then.
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A history of copyright claims
In 2021, M&S launched a legal action against Aldi over a claim that the supermarket infringed the trademark of its Colin the Caterpillar cake.
A year later, both parties reached a settlement in the dispute.
That same year – 2021 – M&S sued Aldi for allegedly copying its Light Up gin, just months after the Colin the Caterpillar row.
M&S court papers at the time claimed Aldi’s gold flake blackberry and clementine gin liqueurs are “strikingly similar” to its own product.
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