Lidl wins trademark dispute against Tesco for imitating yellow logo in its Clubcard
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Tesco has been ordered to stop using its yellow Clubcard logo after losing the long-running High Court trademark battle with discounter Lidl. The High Court ruled on Wednesday (April 19) that the supermarket giant had copied Lidl’s logo.
According to Judge Joanna Smith, Tesco copied Lidl’s logo to stop “financially squeezed customers” switching to its German rival. Lidl also said Tesco had infringed its copyright, letting Tesco "take unfair advantage" of Lidl’s "reputation for great value".
The judge ruled that, while there had been no specific intention by Tesco to "free-ride on Lidl’s reputation", the Clubcard logo had been designed to "cause a ‘subtle but insidious’ transfer of image from the (Lidl logo) to the (Clubcard logo) in the minds of some consumers".
She said: “This will have assisted Tesco to increase the attraction of their prices.” Tesco, in response, said it was "disappointed" by the ruling and that it intended to appeal. However, the judge rejected Lidl’s argument that Tesco had "the deliberate subjective intention of riding on Lidl’s coat tails".
Lidl started its lawsuit in 2020, shortly after Tesco started using the logo to promote its Clubcard discount scheme. It argued that Tesco deliberately copied its trademark to deceive customers into thinking its prices were comparable.
A Lidl spokesperson said in a statement: "We are pleased that the court has agreed with us and that it will now order Tesco to stop using the Clubcard logo." Tesco said it planned to appeal against the ruling, which a spokesperson described as being "just about the colour and shape of the Clubcard Prices logo".
The spokesperson added that the ruling would have "no impact" on its Clubcard scheme. It is however unclear whether Tesco will be able to continue using the same logo.