Lidl wins High Court battle with Tesco over trademark logo
German discount supermarket Lidl has won a trademark lawsuit against Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco at London’s High Court over the use of a yellow circle on a square blue background.
Lidl sued Tesco in 2020 shortly after Tesco adopted a yellow circle against a blue background to promote its “Clubcard Prices” discount scheme.
Tesco’s Clubcard Price scheme is deployed in the retailer’s stores, sometimes next to specific discounted products as well as more generally to promote the scheme.
The German grocer has a yellow circle in its main logo while Tesco features one to-list offers available to its Clubcard scheme members.
Tesco said it is ‘disappointed’ by the ruling, adding that it plans to appeal.
Due to the resemblance between the Clubcard logo and the Lidl one, Justice Joanna Smith said: “Tesco has taken unfair advantage of the distinctive reputation which resides in the Lidl Marks for low price (discounted) value.”
She continued that “the [Clubcard logo] was plainly intended (amongst other things) to convey value and thereby to influence the economic behaviour of supermarket shoppers”
Smith said she agreed that the effect of the use of the Clubcard logo was to cause a “subtle but insidious” transfer of image from the Lidl logo] to the Clubcard logo in the minds of some consumers.
“This will have assisted Tesco to increase the attraction of their prices,” said Smith.
A Lidl GB spokesperson said: “Over the last three years, Tesco has been using its Clubcard logo to deceive many customers into believing that Tesco was price matching against Lidl or was able to offer the same great value as us. We asked Tesco to change their Clubcard logo, but they refused, making it necessary to bring this case.
“Having seen the evidence, the Court has now ruled that Tesco’s Clubcard logo was copied from Lidl’s logo, and it infringes Lidl’s trade mark rights and copyright. This infringement allowed Tesco to take unfair advantage of our longstanding reputation for great value, misleading their customers at a time when they should have been supporting them. We are pleased that the Court has agreed with us and that it will now order Tesco to stop using the Clubcard logo.”
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