WORCESTER'S famous Worcestershire Sauce has been used in the House of Commons as an example of how successful brands can be copied and exploited.

Jim Dowd, MP for Lewisham West and Penge, told the House of Commons he had asked for Worcestershire Sauce when lunching at a London pub.

He said: "And the very nice chap who was serving us went away and said 'certainly', and he came back with a bottle, and it was shaped like the bottle which I always remembered containing, I think it's Lea and Perrins, Worcestershire Sauce and their marvellous concoction: same shape, same size, the label was amazingly enough orange with black lettering.

"But it was something from Sheffield, from somewhere called Henderson's - whoever they were."

He added: "I thought this is an ideal example of just how easy these things are to do (to copy)."

MPs were discussing what Mr Dowd called "parasitic" packaging during the second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill.

Mr Dowd said the supermarket practice of creating own brands that mimicked the colours and packaging of more famous rivals was a deliberate attempt to exploit the efforts of others without contributing towards them.

He believes attempts to mislead customers need to be curbed.

Henderson's Relish is the product name of a condiment also called The Spicy Yorkshire Sauce, and has been made in Sheffield for more than 100 years. Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce has been in production for 170 years.