Series of disputes between Coty and Aldi concerning the sale of Joop! and Calvin Klein perfumes successfully concluded

Lubberger Lehment has been involved in a series of disputes with the discounters ALDI Süd and ALDI Nord on behalf of its client Coty for the past six years. The issue in dispute dealt with the question of whether Coty was entitled to prohibit the discounters from selling Coty’s Calvin Klein and Joop! brand fragrances based on the discounter – and, from Coty’s point of view, prestige-damaging – sales environment at ALDI. This long-running dispute has now come to a successful end for Coty – with two remarkable court decisions:- In the first decision dated July 27, 2023, the German Federal Supreme Court dismissed another non-admission appeal [Nichtzulassungsbeschwerde] by ALDI against a ruling by the Higher Regional Court of Berlin [Kammergericht]. The Berlin ruling prohibited Aldi Nord from selling Calvin Klein perfumes in the typical ALDI rummage boxes.

– Secondly, in its decision dated June 30, 2023, the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf ruled in favour of Coty and prohibited the presentation of perfumes in the rummage boxes typical of Aldi and in glass display cases in all Aldi Süd stores. Aldi decided against a non-admission appeal [Nichtzulassungsbeschwerde] against the ruling of the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf, thus rendering the decision final and binding.

As a result, Coty has successfully defended itself before three higher courts, with one case partially confirmed by the German Federal Supreme Court, against the distribution of its Joop! and Calvin Klein perfumes in ALDI stores and the typical discounter sales environment there.

We consider the decisions to be not only a great success for Coty, but also a real ray of hope for many rights holders: they affirm that rights holders do not have to accept a sales environment for their branded goods that is incompatible with the brand image they have painstakingly built up. They also show that the possibility of taking action against prestige-damaging sales environments on the basis of trademark infringement is not per se reserved for brands which fall in the top luxury category.

The proceedings were conducted for our client Coty by our Berlin partners Eva Maierski and Dr. Rani Mallick.