Caterpillar cakes. We’ve all seen them. We might have bought them for our kids’ birthdays or as a treat for ourselves – you can get them from most supermarkets. But it turns out that Marks & Spencer, creator of the caterpillar cake, has had enough of other shops selling similar designs. It seems it has a particular issue with Aldi’s version, Cuthbert the Caterpillar. In April, it filed a lawsuit against Aldi for allegedly infringing its Colin the Caterpillar trademark. Aldi had actually stopped selling Cuthbert, but has since announced it will be relaunching the cake, with profits going to charity. Aldi hasn’t released an official statement over the row, but has posted a series of tweets with the hashtag #FreeCuthbert.
But forget caterpillars for a second. What about copycats in everyday life? For many of us, being copied can be frustrating. Perhaps a colleague has bought the same bag as you, or a friend has opted for the same shoes. It can feel like your individual style is being stolen. But then, what if you’ve seen a relative with a hairdo you’d like to try, or a friend has picked out a beautiful new sofa, just as you were thinking of buying one? Where is the line drawn between inspiration and imitation? And how do you know if you’ve crossed it? Here, Woman asks, is copying someone else the sincerest form of flattery or simply not ever OK?
YES ‘IF I SEE SOMETHING I LIKE, THEN I WILL MIMIC IT’
Eimear O’Hagan lives in the Scottish Borders with her husband Malcolm and their two sons.
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