Taken from bbc.co.uk | Author: Tom Espiner | Date: 20 April 2023
Discounter Lidl has won a trademark battle against the UK's biggest supermarket chain Tesco.
The High Court ruled that Tesco's Clubcard logo copied Lidl's logo, which both use a yellow circle on a square blue background.
Lidl said Tesco had infringed its copyright, letting Tesco "take unfair advantage" of Lidl's "reputation for great value".
Tesco said it was "disappointed" by the ruling and that it intended to appeal.
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.
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, she said that Tesco had not been seeking "deliberately to ride on the coat tails of Lidl's reputation", as Lidl had argued.
A Lidl spokesperson said: "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".
"It has no impact on our Clubcard Prices scheme which we will continue to run in exactly the same way," the spokesperson said.
Tesco said nearly 21 million households use its Clubcard scheme, with 11.7 million Clubcard app users. Eight in ten of its sales involve a Clubcard.
Whether Tesco will be able to continue using the logo as it appeals will be decided at another court hearing.
The BBC understands that Tesco will ask the court for permission to continue using its logo while the appeals process is ongoing.
Tesco's lawyers previously accused Lidl of hypocrisy and said it copied the branding of well-known products such as Oreo cookies.
Supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury's have been moving away from just enabling customers to build up points on loyalty cards that can be redeemed later.
They now use Clubcards and Nectar cards to offer customers immediate discounts on products when they shop as well.
Yellow stickers have been used on UK supermarket produce that is on sale as it approaches its sell-by date for a number of years.
The yellow colour is supposed to be warm and welcoming.