Dr Oetker, which is based in Bielefield, Germany and makes thousands of products including ambient, frozen and chilled lines, claimed Aldi’s Flecki dessert had infringed patent rights for its ‘Paula’ pudding.
Dr Oetker had claimed that Aldi had been profiting from the substantial amount of advertising revenue it had spent on promoting sales of its product. Aldi, meanwhile, had maintained that it had done everything it could do to differentiate its product from that of Dr Oetker.
The German court ruled that the manufacturer did not have a case against the discount retail chain.
Earlier verdict upheld
In the official ruling, the Dusseldorf regional appeals court upheld an earlier verdict, which was issued by the district court in March. According to that decision, consumers could confuse neither the ingredients nor the packaging of the product for those of the Dr Oetker pudding.
The packaging design for both emulates cowhide and features cartoon cows and the two products are aimed at children. However, Flecki is aimed more at discount shoppers.
Dr Oetker, which employs more than 9,500 people and is best known for its puddings and pizzas, had sought a Europe-wide ban on Aldi’s Flecki dessert and the verdict scuppers its plans.
In a prepared statement, the processor told FoodNavigator: “Dr Oetker will check the court’s decision and then decide how best to proceed.”
Aldi also issued a statement to FoodNavigator, saying: "ALDI South Group appreciates the judgement of the Oberlandesgericht Duesseldorf."