German discount supermarket Lidl has won its trademark lawsuit against 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 “Tesco Clubcard Prices” discount scheme.
Judge Joanna Smith said in a written ruling that Tesco had: “taken unfair advantage of the distinctive reputation” for low prices held by Lidl’s trademarks, though she rejected Lidl’s argument that Tesco had done so deliberately.
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.”
German discount chain Lidl said its trademark, and copyright, has been infringed, while Tesco had made a counterclaim.
A Lidl spokesperson said: “In September 2020, Tesco launched a new logo for its Clubcard discount scheme, which looked strikingly similar to Lidl’s logo because of the particular shapes and colours used: a yellow circle set in the middle of a blue square.
“Tesco started to use this new Clubcard logo extremely widely throughout its stores and online and has continued to do so for the last 3 years.
“Given the similarity between the Lidl logo and Tesco’s new Clubcard logo, Lidl was concerned that some customers would see the Clubcard logo and mistakenly think that Tesco was able to offer the same value as Lidl or that Tesco was actually ‘price matching’ against Lidl.”
The Judge will now order an injunction against Tesco, requiring it to stop using the Clubcard logo.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are surprised and disappointed by the decision today in relation to the claim brought by Lidl against our Clubcard Prices logo. Clubcard Prices has always been about offering great value to our Clubcard customers, across thousands of products, as part of our commitment to keeping the cost of the weekly shop as affordable as possible. Nothing in today’s decision changes that.
“This claim brought by Lidl was just about the colour and shape of the Clubcard Prices logo. The judge’s ruling concluded that there was no deliberate intent on Tesco’s part to copy Lidl’s trademark. It has no impact on our Clubcard Prices scheme which we will continue to run in exactly the same way. We intend to appeal.”