Lidl wins trademark lawsuit against Tesco over discount scheme logo

Lidl sued Tesco in 2020 shortly after Tesco adopted a yellow circle against a blue background to promote its "Clubcard Prices" discount scheme.

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German discount supermarket Lidl on Wednesday won a trademark lawsuit against Britain's biggest retailer Tesco (TSCO.L) 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.

Judge Joanna Smith said in a written ruling on Wednesday that Tesco had "taken unfair advantage of the distinctive reputation" for low prices held by Lidl's trademarks.

However, the judge rejected Lidl's argument that Tesco had "the deliberate subjective intention of riding on Lidl's coat tails".

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 intends to appeal against the ruling, which a spokesperson described as being "just about the colour and shape of the Clubcard Prices logo".

They said in a statement that Tesco is "surprised and disappointed" by the decision, which they added "has no impact on our Clubcard Prices scheme which we will continue to run in exactly the same way".

The two companies traded allegations of copying brands and deceiving customers at a trial in February, which took place amid a price war between traditional supermarkets and their discount rivals.

Lidl had argued that Tesco deliberately copied its trademark to deceive customers into thinking its prices are comparable, while Tesco's lawyers accused Lidl of hypocrisy and said it copies the branding of well-known products such as Oreo cookies.