Waitrose pays out in legal spat over copycat crackers

Waitrose and one of its suppliers have paid an undisclosed sum, thought to be£50,000 to£90,000, to settle a legal battle over Christmas crackers.

Manufacturer Napier Industries, which supplies Waitrose, admitted scanning and reproducing the cracker designs of luxury brand Earthworks. Together with Waitrose, Napier has paid the Sussex-based company damages and costs.

Earthworks supplies crackers to Harrods and Liberty. It gave the defendants more than a year to negotiate a reasonable settlement but, when they did not, issued proceedings at the beginning of this year.

Earthworks director Tristan Williams said: 'We were completely surprised by how determined they (Waitrose and Napier) were to quash this, to the extent of claiming our designs were not original, which they clearly are.'

Waitrose declined to comment on the case.