German-owned discount supermarket Lidl can have an injunction to stop rival Tesco copying its logo, London’s High Court has ruled, despite hearing it will cost Tesco nearly £8m pounds to remove them all.
Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco in April lost a trademark lawsuit brought by Lidl after Tesco adopted a yellow circle against a blue background to promote its “Clubcard Prices” discount scheme.
Lidl then sought an injunction preventing Tesco from infringing its trademark, arguing last month that it was needed to stop Tesco from deceiving consumers.
Tesco’s lawyers argued it was unnecessary to impose an injunction and that its infringement of Lidl’s trademark could be resolved by paying a small amount of damages.
The retailer’s head of legal, Ryan Hetherington, described in a witness statement how difficult it would be for Tesco, which he said uses more than 8 million Clubcard Prices logos in its stores, with more in online, TV and print advertising.
This ones after Tesco reported a nine per cent increase in UK sales, with its new chief executive saying there are “encouraging early signs that inflation is starting to ease”.
But Judge Joanna Smith ruled on Wednesday that Lidl is entitled to an injunction, which will not take effect until any appeals by Lidl and Tesco – both of which have said they will challenge her original ruling – have been resolved.
“The only certain way to put an end to the loss that Lidl is incurring by reason of the continuing use of the (Clubcard Price) signs is to grant a final injunction,” she said.
The judge said Tesco will have nine weeks to remove all Clubcard Prices logos once the proceedings are over, in the event Tesco is unsuccessful on appeal.
Tesco declined to comment. Lidl did not immediately respond to a request for comment.