Subtle, deceptive image transfer

In April 2023, the UK High Court ruled that Lidl had succeeded in proving that this similar logo would create a ‘subtle but insidious image transfer’ in the minds of some consumers: the Clubcard logo suggests that Tesco’s Clubcard prices are equal to or lower than those of Lidl. Tesco is thus unfairly exploiting Lidl’s reputation as a discount brand, according to the High Court.”

Tesco Clubcard
The battle between the supermarket giants has been ongoing for several years, following Tesco’s introduction of its yellow-blue logo in 2020. Under this brand, the supermarket offers discounts to its Clubcard holders.

With its ruling of March 19, 2024, the Court of Appeal in appeal now fully adopts this factual assessment from the High Court.


The ruling is very significant for Tesco. Not only will the company now have to embark on a costly and time-consuming rebranding operation for its Clubcard brand, but it also faces a substantial damages claim from Lidl for over 3 years of trademark infringement.

Lidl copycat

It is indeed remarkable that Lidl, which itself is known for imitating A-brands to some extent, achieves this victory. After all, normally Lidl takes the position that you can closely mimic the design of A-brands with your products as long as you clearly put a different brand name on them. According to Lidl, there is no risk of confusion in that case. Aerocell (Duracell), Neo (Oreo), and Snack Day (Pringles) are clear examples of this approach.

Lidl copycats

Different stance

However, in this case, Lidl has taken a different stance. Despite the fact that “Lidl” is prominently displayed in the trademark, the supermarket now believes that the Clubcard logo infringes on this Lidl brand. I can imagine that holders of A-brands, who may soon be in discussion with Lidl again regarding imitation, will bring up this ruling.

Bas Kist


Photo by Shashank Verma on Unsplash

Bas Kist is mede-oprichter van Merkenbureau Chiever. Hij schrijft regelmatig artikelen over merken- en auteursrecht in de Volkskrant en Adformatie. Daarnaast is hij docent bij de European Institute for Brand management EURIB.