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Lidl checks out of Tesco IP battle with partial win


The UK High Court backed Lidl in passing off and copyright infringement claims against Tesco, but it wasn’t a clean sweep for the German supermarket

The England and Wales High Court today handed victory to Lidl in the battle of the supermarkets, ruling that Tesco’s Clubcard logo infringed Lidl’s store logo.

In her judgment, Mrs Justice Joanna Smith found Tesco had taken unfair advantage of Lidl’s reputation and had damaged the distinctive character of the Lidl logo.

Both logos feature a yellow circle on a blue square. Lidl’s has a thin red border around it.

Tesco was deemed liable for passing off as well as trademark and copyright infringement.

According to Smith’s judgment, the Clubcard design was “immediately appreciated” by Tesco employees as being likely to cause confusion with Lidl but Tesco went ahead with the Clubcard Prices promotion in any event.

However, a Lidl-owned wordless mark for the same logo was invalidated on the grounds that it had been applied for in bad faith.

In November last year, Managing IP reported that Tesco had been granted permission to advance claims of bad faith on the grounds that a trademark for a wordless version of Lidl’s logo – despite never having been used in the UK – had been continually refiled by the German-owned supermarket.

Tesco’s ‘Clubcard Price’ loyalty discount scheme, which launched in 2020, offers discounts on selected items to Clubcard members.

A spokesperson for Tesco said it is surprised and disappointed by the decision and intends to appeal.

A Lidl spokesperson said: “We asked Tesco to change its Clubcard logo, but they refused, making it necessary to bring this case. We are pleased that the court has agreed with us and that it will now order Tesco to stop using the logo.”

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