Retailers Lidl vs Tesco in UK Court By Stocksak

© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO. Lidl begins operations at its new Scottish distribution facility, the largest of its type in the UK. This centre is located in Motherwell in Scotland, Britain. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

Sam Tobin

LONDON (Stocksak) – Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco (OTC:) tried to revive part of its lawsuit against discount supermarket Lidl on Tuesday, telling a London court that its German-owned rival had applied for trademarks for a yellow circle against a blue background in “bad faith”.

Tesco filed a counterclaim against Lidl in 2021, in response to Lidl’s initial lawsuit which said Tesco was trying “to ride on () coat-tails” by using a logo of a yellow circle on a blue background to promote its “Clubcard Prices” discount scheme.

Tesco – the grocery market leader in Britain with a 27% share against Lidl’s 7%, according to industry data – argued that Lidl registered a trademark of its logo without its name to support the trademark over its more widely used logo.

A lower court dismissed Tesco’s case on bad faith in June, but the supermarket’s lawyers told the Court of Appeal in London that the logo without Lidl’s name “has never been seen by the public”.

Simon Malynicz, representing Tesco, said: “This is an unused (trademark) logo which has been applied for the purposes of bolstering the protection in Lidl’s logo.”

But Lidl’s lawyer, Benet Brandreth KC, argued that Lidl has used the logo without its name and that his client had a good commercial basis for applying for the trademark.

He said in written arguments that Lidl’s underlying case is that Tesco has “copied Lidl’s logos … to benefit from the association with Lidl’s reputation for high quality goods sold at a low price”.

Documents provided to Lidl by Tesco in the course of the litigation also show that “many of their customers believe the Tesco [Clubcard Prices] logo to be the Lidl logo”, Brandreth added.

Judge Kim Lewison stated at the end of hearing that the Court of Appeal would issue its ruling at a later time.

A trial of Lidl’s initial lawsuit and Tesco’s remaining counterclaims is due to be heard at the High Court in London early next year.

The case is Lidl Great Britain Limited against another v Tesco Stores Limited.

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