Peaks and troughs – the Toblerone/Poundland battle gets nasty

The latest blows in the metaphorical boxing match between Poundland and Toblerone over the latter’s trademark have been exchanged.

Mondelez, the maker of Toblerone, has threatened Poundland with legal action after the discount chain launched copycat Twin Peaks chocolate bar earlier this year. Retaliating, Poundland has said the triangle shape of Toblerone isn’t unique enough.

Poundland has introduced its bar after the Swiss chocolate maker revealed it would have to increase the gaps between the peaks of Toblerone to claw back increased production costs.

However, The Guardian reported seeing legal documents which stated that Poundland has claimed Toblerone’s triangle shape shouldn’t be trademarked as it is not unique enough, and it has now changed.

The claims say that ‘any good reputation enjoyed by the Toblerone bar trademark has been “irretrievably abandoned” by the launch of the product with bigger gaps between its nine chunks, which the public “consider unfavourably in comparison”.’

Poundland claims its Twin Peaks bar is based on a hill in Shropshire. It has chocolate triangles with – you guessed it – twin peaks – or points – making it different to its more established rival, which had to reduce the weight of its bar from 170g to 150g. Poundland’s version weighs in at 180g and costs just £1.

Tina Locklin, Poundland’s senior confectionery buyer, said: ‘It’s named after The Wrekin, near our head office. But The Wrekin hardly trips off the tongue, so we went with Twin Peaks.’

Whoever lands the knockout punch in this chocolate war remains to be seen, but it’s clear that, for the discount stores, very little is sacred.

If you need advice on Intellectual Property matters, Rothera Sharp have the team for you. Call our solicitors on 0800 088 6280 or email enquiries@rotherasharp.co.uk

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Richard Hammond - Rothera Sharp Solicitors Nottingham