Leading maker of biscuits in Australia, Arnotts, dominates many product sectors. Their TimTam brand is a household name. Yummy chocolate layers, yummy cream chocolate filling, yummy chocolate covering.
Enter Dick Smith, the local hero Down Under and a keen opportunity spotter. Dick is a champion of me-too products and the curse of many a brand manager.
So, wanting to cash in on someone else’s idea, what does he introduce? A biscuit. But coincidentally: yummy chocolate layers, yummy cream chocolate filling, yummy chocolate covering. And what did he call it?
Well, what a coincidence. In fact too much of a coincidence for Arnotts who apparently decided to take Dick Smith to court. The big issue here is always: is this passing off? Could someone accidentally buy this product because the think it’s TimTam? The judge decided they couldn’t. Yes the name is similar, but the packaging looks different. Dick Smith clearly has his brand on the left, it’s just a me-too.
And Dick Smith laughed all the way to the bank. More: story write-up
More on this delicate issue: here.