Lidl v Tesco

Lidl argues Tesco is trying to ‘ride on its coat-tails’ with the Clubcard Prices logo

Tesco has landed a blow against Lidl in the latest episode in the battle between the two over logos.

Tesco will be able to argue at trial that Lidl trademarked a wordless version of its blue and yellow logo in ‘bad faith’, having won an appeal.

Tesco’s argument is part of a counterclaim in response to a trademark infringement claim from Lidl. The discounter has argued the UK’s biggest retailer is trying to “ride on the coat-tails” of its reputation for value by using a yellow circle on blue background as its Tesco Clubcard Prices logo.

Earlier this year, a judge rejected Tesco’s claim that Lidl had trademarked a wordless and unused version of its own logo – which also features a yellow circle on blue background – merely as a “legal weapon”.

However, the Court of Appeal yesterday rejected that decision. Lord Justice Arnold said Tesco’s position was in fact supported by an admission by Lidl’s counsel that the wordless mark had been registered “in order to obtain a wider scope of protection”.

As a result, Tesco’s ‘bad faith’ argument can now form part of its counterclaim when the trademark battle proceeds to trial at High Court next year.

“We are pleased with today’s decision,” said a Tesco spokeswoman. “We continue to deny and strongly defend this claim, and remain very confident of our position for trial next year.”

Read more: Lidl is accusing Tesco of ‘riding on coat-tails’. Well, it would know about that

A Lidl spokeswoman said: “This appeal is only a small procedural aspect of the case and we remain confident in the outcome of the trial in 2023.

“Our survey, which has been accepted as evidence by the High Court, shows that well over 70% of UK grocery shoppers recognise our distinctive Lidl logo even without the word Lidl on it.

“It’s important that customers are not being misled on value by Tesco through their use of a sign which is strikingly similar to our logo.”