Marks & Spencer is taking Aldi to Court in a row over Colin the Caterpillar and Cuthbert the Caterpillar cakes.

M&S lodged an intellectual property claim with the High Court, claiming that Aldi's Cuthbert the Caterpillar is too similar to M&S's Colin.

M&S accuses Aldi of taking a "ride on the coat-tails" of M&S's reputation by selling the product and wants Aldi to remove Cuthbert the Caterpillar cakes from sale.

M&S launched Colin the Caterpillar around 30 years ago and his appearance has been substantially unchanged since around 2004, except for adaptations for events such as Halloween and Christmas, and related products such as Connie the Caterpillar.

The product is central to M&S’s partnership with cancer charity Macmillan, and the retailer has created a Colin product for the annual World’s Biggest Coffee Morning fundraising event.

The cake is a sponge with milk chocolate and buttercream, topped with chocolate sweets and a smiling white chocolate face.

M&S has three trademarks relating to Colin, which the retailer believes means Colin has acquired and retains an enhanced distinctive character and reputation.

A spokesman said: “Because we know the M&S brand is special to our customers and they expect only the very best from us, love and care goes into every M&S product on our shelves.

“So we want to protect Colin, Connie and our reputation for freshness, quality, innovation and value.”