The competitive world of chilled treats entered a bitter legal dispute this week, following Wall's sausages launch of the frozen 'lollipork'.
Wall's ice cream claims that the tubular, freezer-stored snack infringes several of their patents, including a stick-based human interface, and the ability to be held either sideways or pointing up.
A patent lawyer for the firm explained why they were taking action. "Wall's (ice cream) has invested a lot of money over the years in perfecting this product, and we're not about to allow Wall's (sausages) to make a pig's ear of it."
But Wall's sausages aren't new to the market for cool, 'must have' consumables. They claim the lollipork was inspired by a family trip to the seaside by their chief developer, Brian Cleat. "It was a hot day, and the kids didn't want any more 'travel sausages'. Then it struck me: a frozen sausage would be refreshing, and less than a third of the price of a Magnum."
"People have less time to cook these days, so I knew we had a hit on our hands. After the first couple you learn to suppress your gag reflex, and a surprisingly high number of people can eat raw pork without life-threatening side effects."
"It wasn't a big step for us to breathe on the end of a Lincoln banger until it melted, and then push a bit of wood up it. It's just a natural development of the corn dog."
The ice cream giant isn't licked yet. "These lolliporks are just a very pale, clammy imitation of our innovative products. Our customers tell us they prefer the crunch of macadamia to gristle and while our 'imeatators' have more experience in skins, our range is less prone to viruses, salmonella and dry retching."
As a point of principle, the ice-cream company has issued a 'cease and desist' order to prevent their rivals from developing new products. "We don't want them to even think about copying our new 'iScream', so we're calling for a total brain freeze."
Industry commentators think the sausage upstarts may be gaining ground. As David Schwenck of Stuffed magazine pointed out, "They're ideal for breakfast, and being savoury, you can have them with HP or ketchup. They're open sauce".
"They're also catering for niche customers, such as the dairy-intolerant or vegetarians. We're predicting a lot of success for their new Quornetto."