Supermarket giant Tesco to launch dozens of discount stores with absence of full trademark protection
This week, Britain’s largest supermarket retailer Tesco is preparing to launch a new chain of discount stores called ‘Jack’s’ across the UK.
The first branch opening is expected today with reportedly 60 more to follow in the upcoming months. Named after Tesco founder Jack Cohen who first launched the group in 1924, the Jack’s chain is anticipated to be German discounter Aldi and Lidl’s new biggest rivals however, it will be operating without watertight protection over its trademark for a month.
Following an application to register the name as a trademark, it is reported that both the UK and EU Intellectual Property Office have already received more than 15 complaints against both the Jack’s name and red logo separately. With a cut-off date of 17th of October, it is expected to be open to new complaints over the next four weeks.
Despite potential challenges the supermarket giant has decided to go ahead with its launch plans.
Much of media coverage has described the move as an ‘absolute madness’ likely due to ‘Jack’s’ not necessarily being regarded as the most distinctive of marks. Due to this, there may be a considerable degree of risk however not all is as illegitimate as it may seem. In both the UK and EU there is no obligation to make a trademark application or registration in order to start trading.
A large company like Tesco has undoublety considered the potential legal and commercial risks and in the instance where they were to receive oppositions, it would be more than likely this could be resolved through agreements or- ultimately - through the retail domineers deep pockets.
By Sena Tokel, a law student at Southampton Solent University