ZipTracker: Linklaters, Freshfields, Bird & Bird

Stand out in law firm applications with these deals and cases.
ZipTracker: Linklaters, Freshfields, Bird & Bird

Hi this is ZipLaw! This is our ZipTracker Newsletter where we run through the top court cases and deals law firms acted on so you can use them to stand out in applications. All of them (and more) are added to our ZipTracker database daily.

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Here’s what we’re serving today:

  • Court cases involving: Bird & Bird, Mishcon de Reya, Stephenson Harwood
  • Deals involving: Linklaters, Slaughter and May, White & Case, Travers Smith, Freshfields, Sullivan & Cromwell

Lidl v Tesco

In Short: The Court of Appeal ruled that Tesco's loyalty pricing scheme branding (i.e. the use of a yellow circle on a blue square) infringes Lidl's trade mark.

What did each party argue?

  • Tesco's Defence: Tesco argued its Clubcard branding was distinct and not intended to mislead consumers into associating their products with Lidl's cost-effective offerings. They challenged the copyright infringement ruling and the validity of Lidl's trademark claims.
  • Lidl's Claim: Lidl argued that Tesco's branding could confuse customers, potentially leading them to associate Tesco's products with Lidl's reputation for affordability. Lidl wanted to defend its trademark and copyright claims to protect its brand identity.

Impact and Key Points for Discussion:

  1. Trademark vs. Brand Perception: This case highlights the fine line between drawing inspiration and infringing on a trademark. The decision underscores the importance of distinctive branding in the retail sector, where colour schemes and design elements can significantly influence consumer perception.
  2. Copyright in Commercial Designs: The Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's ruling that the Tesco branding infringed copyright tied to Lidl's logo. The Lidl logo was sufficiently original to "attract copyright" but the scope of protection was too narrow to allow the court to rule that Tesco had infringed. This highlights the complexities of copyright law in relation to commercial logos and branding.
  3. Strategic Trademark Protection: The appeals court also rejected Lidl's bid to reverse the High Court's finding that it had registered its wordless trademarks in bad faith. The invalidation of Lidl's "wordless" logo trademark raises important considerations for businesses in securing and maintaining their trademarks.

Which Law Firms are advising on this?

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