The Daily Telegraph
Lidl and Tesco take battle over yellow circle to the High Court
LIDL and Tesco are facing off in a High Court battle over a yellow circle logo.
The supermarkets are at loggerheads over claims by Lidl that Tesco infringed its copyright by using a yellow circle to promote its Clubcard prices.
Tesco has filed a counterclaim against Lidl in the dispute that started last April.
Lidl accuses Tesco of “seeking deliberately to ride on the coat-tails of Lidl’s reputation as a discounter supermarket known for the provision of value”.
It said that Tesco’s use of the logo suggests Tesco’s products could be bought for the same or lower prices than at Lidl, which has used a yellow circle in its logo since about 1987, while Tesco introduced a yellow circle into its Clubcard marketing in 2020.
Lidl owns a trademark for a yellow circle with no text in it – the “wordless mark” as it is referred to in the case – as well as one with its name in it, which is used in signage on its stores.
Tesco filed a counterclaim against Lidl in April, arguing that the “wordless mark” trademark should not be considered valid because Lidl has never used it in the UK. It also accused the German chain of trademarking it for “the purposes of deployment as a weapon in legal proceedings”.
Mrs Justice Joanna Smith began overseeing the case at the High Court yesterday. She was shown an assortment of the logos, including Lidl’s yellow circle, surrounded by a red ring, and Tesco’s yellow circle, which has no red ring and contains the words Clubcard Prices in the middle. A Tesco spokesman said: “Clubcard Prices help us to reward our most loyal customers with exclusive deals, and is an important part of our commitment to keeping the weekly shop as affordable as possible. We cannot comment on an ongoing trial, but we continue to strongly defend our position on the basis that our Clubcard Prices logo does not infringe any of Lidl’s intellectual property rights.” Further evidence will be heard over the days to come.
♦ Lidl is slamming the brakes on store openings after years of major expansion, halving the number of new shops across the UK this year. It plans to add about 25 to its 950 stores, down from about 50 in recent years, but aims to have 1,100 stores by the end of 2025.