Issue 14 - November 2022

Retail Scanner

Welcome to the latest edition of HGF’s Retail Scanner!

Following the news that the world famous Uffizi gallery in Italy has launched an action against designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, we have a guest author in this edition, Michelle Okyere, who explores further cultural appropriation by brands. Retail wise, we consider further lookalike issues and how to protect your brand and the issues raised in the recent Tesco v Lidl litigation around Tesco’s Clubcard promotion designs. We look at sustainability and innovation in the sector, together with the issue of greenwashing and steps that can be taken to avoid it.

Finally, a date for the diary – our HGF IP in Retail conference is being held on 1 December in the etc.venues just by Chancery Lane in London, with a range of talks and discussions on technology, the environment and the challenges for retail. We look forward to seeing you there!

Sustainability and innovation in the retail sector

By Dr Jennifer Unsworth

The impact that businesses have on the environment is facing ever-more scrutiny from customers, employees and investors. For this reason, sustainability and climate change are important issues on corporate agendas which organisations cannot afford to ignore. There are many ways that businesses in the retail sector can improve their green credentials, from being sustainable in every day retail practices…

Appropriation of culture v appreciation of culture

By Michelle Okyere

On what grounds is Florence-based Uffizi Galleries suing French designer Jean Paul Gaultier for using Botticelli’s “the Birth of Venus” image in his clothing collection? It’s simple; cultural appropriation. The “Birth of Venus” image forms part of the cultural heritage of Italy and is protected pursuant to Italy’s Cultural Heritage Code which came into effect in 2004 and was updated in 2016. Under this code, a person must request for authorisation and pay a licence fee…

Trade marks going green

By Emma Pallister

Due to rising public awareness of climate change and environmental issues, consumers are increasingly making purchase decisions based on the eco-friendly or ‘green’ credentials of products and services, and aligning brand values. The trend only seems set to grow with sustainability growing as a priority among young consumers. Brands in return are understandably keen to target such consumers and promote the perceived positive qualities of products.

Tesco v Lidl over “Clubcard Prices” logo

By Claire Jones

A decision of interest to the retail industry and retailers, but also to trade mark attorneys and lawyers on the everchanging topic of bad faith.
Lidl filed infringement proceedings against Tesco for their “Clubcard Prices” loyalty discount scheme which was launched in September 2022.  Lidl claimed that the scheme, using a yellow circle on a blue square constituted infringement on the basis of the similarity with Lidl’s logo and that Tesco were attempting..

The question of lookalike products

By Christie Batty

With the cost of living on the rise, some consumers may be drawn to supermarket lookalike products, which are relatively cheaper than the products that they mimic. In each case, the lookalike product is an obvious competitor and parody of the original product, which invites the consumer to draw a comparison. The question is, does the similar packaging and get-up of the lookalike product deceive…

HGF’s IP in Retail Conference 2022

1st December 2022 in London

We are hosting our annaul IP in Retail Conference on 1st December 2022 in London (St. Pauls, etc.venues). This year’s theme is TECHNOLOGY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE CHALLENGES FOR RETAIL. We will discuss Metaverse, NFTs, sustainability, saddle bags and shape marks, Iceland vs Iceland and intellectual property law. Find out more and register below…