Lidl is accused of counterfeiting in France. Vorwerk, the manufacturer of the Thermomix, claims that the German brand was largely inspired by its creation to develop the Monsieur Cuisine Connect robot. Already withdrawn from sale in Spain, Lidl’s robot could soon disappear from the French market.
According to information from our colleagues in Europe 1, Vorwerk, the German firm behind the Thermomix, has just launched legal proceedings against Lidl in France. The company accuses the supermarket chain of having plagiarized the Thermomix by developing the Monsieur Cuisine Connect robot. According to Vorwerk, Lidl violated the laws on patent protection.
A few days ago, a similar procedure in Spain resulted in the exclusion of the Monsieur Cuisine Connect robot from the sale. Seized by Vorwerk, the Commercial Court of Barcelona considered that Lidl was largely inspired by Thermomix features (including the option to weigh food) in defiance of patent law. Lidl Spain was therefore forced to withdraw from the market all copies in its possession and at its distributors.
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Lidl allegedly plagiarized Vorwerk’s Thermomix
If the procedure initiated by Vorwerk is completed, Lidl may be obliged to withdraw all Monsieur Cuisine Connect robots from sale in France. Asked by BFM TV, the management of Vorwerk France confirms the news: “A procedure is underway in several countries including France, it was launched from Germany”.
Building on the Spanish precedent, Vorwerk visibly seeks to remove the robot designed by Silvercrest (Lidl brand) for sale in Europe. “The procedure launched in France is similar to the one launched in Spain, it involves non-compliance with patents. We have 70 patent families on the last three generations of Thermomix plus the Thermomix® Friend ” explains Vorwerk France.
Currently, Lidl still markets Monsieur Cuisine Connect at a price of 359 euros in France. Connected to the WiFi network, the robot is able to cook, brown, steam, knead, mix, stir, chop, mix, emulsify, crush ice and weigh food. Ultimately, it offers features similar to the Thermomix, a multifunction device sold by Vorwerk for 1,300 euros.
Source: Europe 1