The circle of discord.

Tesco and Lidl have begun a High Court fight over the use of a yellow circle logo.

Lidl has accused its bigger rival Tesco of “deception” during the latest round of a long-running legal battle between the two supermarket chains over the use of this design (a yellow circular design with a blue background). The German discounter claims that a trademark and its copyright had been infringed. Lidl uses a yellow circle in its main logo, and Tesco uses one to highlight offers available to members of its Clubcard scheme.

The protection available to Lidl’s core brand is at the heart of this claim.
Barrister Benet Brandreth, Head of Lidl’s legal team

Barrister Benet Brandreth, Head of Lidl’s legal team, told the judge the company had registered trademarks for a logo containing the word Lidl, and also for a logo with no text, which he said was “distinctive” of its services and goods. He said that Lidl had “also procured” the registration of the background to that logo – the “wordless mark”.

Tesco denied any intellectual property infringement and argued that the yellow circle lacks distinctiveness and that Lidl had to prove damage.

Lidl finally won the high court case. On 19 April, a judge found that Tesco had infringed Lidl's trademark rights and copyright. Tesco intends to appeal against the ruling. 

It is not the first time Britain’s supermarkets have taken their disagreements to court in recent years, following Marks & Spencer’s decision to launch legal action against discounter Aldi to “protect” its Colin the Caterpillar chocolate sponge roll cake from its imitator and rival Cuthbert. The retailers later reached a deal, and Cuthbert cakes returned to Aldi’s shelves in June 2022.

(Read this article on the same subject)

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Etienne Lens


branding logo retail trademark copyright Lidl Tesco