Supermarket chain Aldi has been accused by an entrepreneur of copying the sun shade she designed for prams.
Cara Sayer designed the successful product – a cover which stretches over the top of prams and blocks out light – ten years ago to help her baby sleep.
Aldi’s product has a short zip down the middle of the shade, elastic straps, and is grey with yellow trim, almost identical to Cara’s original design.
Aldi said there were already “many other similar products on the market”.
But Ms Sayer said none resembled the SnoozeShade as closely.
“Its design is identical,” she says. “Other products have been similar but not the same.”
“It’s a bit like Ford creating a car that looks like a Ferrari and putting a Ford badge on it. Ferrari knows what a Ferrari looks like.”
Ms Sayer also pointed to labelling and product description on the Aldi product, saying it closely resembled her own.
Product creators legally have unregistered design rights, that protect their design for a decade after it has first been shared with the public. But it’s not something that is always respected.
Ms Sayer says she could demand that Aldi destroys the product. “I can in theory say you can’t sell this any more. Or I can say you pay me a license fee to sell this product,” she says.
But in reality she says they haven’t responded to her emails and she knows it’s not worth pursuing.
“I’m not naïve. I understand. There’s no point pursuing anything hard in terms of going to court.”
But she’s angry and thinks more should be done to protect small businesses against this kind of intellectual property infringement.