Recently, Tesco found itself embroiled in a legal dispute with Lidl, resulting in an expensive rebranding endeavour. The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling that Tesco’s Clubcard Prices logo infringed on Lidl’s trademark logo.

The crux of the matter lies in Tesco’s adoption of the Clubcard Prices logo in 2020 for its discount price scheme. Lidl contended that this logo infringed upon its intellectual property rights, particularly its trademarked logos. While Tesco appealed against the findings of trademark infringement and passing off, it did succeed in challenging the ruling of copyright infringement.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the High Court’s decision on trademark infringement and passing off, emphasising the importance of consumer perception. Despite Tesco’s argument that consumers wouldn’t necessarily equate the CCP signs with price matching, the court upheld the view that the signs conveyed this message, to the detriment of Lidl’s brand.

Central to the case was the impact on consumer behaviour. Evidence suggested that Tesco’s Clubcard Prices campaign affected consumer choices, prompting Lidl to engage in corrective advertising. This shift in economic behaviour bolstered Lidl’s case against Tesco, demonstrating the tangible consequences of trademark infringement and passing off.

However, the Court of Appeal overturned the finding of copyright infringement, acknowledging the narrow scope of protection offered by Lidl’s copyright on its logo. This decision highlights the intricacies of intellectual property law and the importance of establishing the extent of protection afforded to creative works.

Moving forward, Tesco faces the daunting task of rebranding to comply with the court’s injunction. Given the extensive use of the CCP signs over four years, substantial damages may be due to Lidl. This case underscores the far-reaching implications of trademark disputes and the necessity of respecting intellectual property rights.

While Tesco expressed disappointment with the judgment, it assured customers that its Clubcard Prices programme would remain unaffected. Lidl, on the other hand, welcomed the ruling and called for Tesco to respect the court’s decision.

In conclusion, this legal battle serves as a cautionary tale for businesses regarding the importance of trademark protection and the potential consequences of infringement. As experts in intellectual property, National Business Register is here to help businesses navigate the complexities of trademark registration and safeguard their brand identity effectively. Contact us today to learn more about how we can protect your intellectual property assets and ensure compliance with UK laws and regulations. You can contact us by emailing or calling 0800 069 9090.

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