International law firm Bird & Bird’s Intellectual Property team has won an action before the UK High Court for their client Lidl in its long running dispute with Tesco regarding Tesco’s use of its Clubcard logo, which bore a distinct similarity to Lidl’s well known logo.
On 19 April 2023, High Court Judge Joanna Smith handed down Judgment finding that Tesco had infringed Lidl’s trade mark rights in its logo, by taking unfair advantage of Lidl’s reputation for value and damaging the distinctive character of the Lidl logo.
The Judge also found Tesco liable for passing off, holding that a substantial number of consumers were being deceived into believing that Tesco’s prices represented the same value as Lidl’s prices or that Tesco was price matching Lidl, when that was not the case. Finally the Judge found that Tesco’s Clubcard logo had been copied from Lidl’s logo and Tesco had therefore infringed Lidl’s copyright.
Partner Ewan Grist commented “We are delighted to have secured this important victory for Lidl, which protects the integrity of the famous Lidl brand and its ability to convey the message of great value to shoppers. Competition between supermarkets to attract and retain customers, particularly by way of price comparisons and price matching, is always intense and rightly so. However, in this case, the Court found that Tesco had crossed a clear line by adopting a logo for its Clubcard scheme which was deceiving a substantial number of shoppers into thinking that Tesco was price matching against Lidl, when no such price matching was actually happening. The unfair advantage which Tesco derived from this will now be brought to an end.”
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