Exposed: another possible supermarket case of outrageous passing off

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Will the intellectual property law teams at two supermarket giants leap into their panda cars to clamp down on these cheeky independents?


What is it about Tesco — once the poster boy of UK retail, now the limping invalid — that attracts so much passing off or attempted passing off?

Perhaps it’s that homespun “everyday value” catchphrase, but local shopkeepers around the country are keen to bag a bit of reflected glory — even if in the process they have to sail close to the intellectual property wind.

Recently, Legal Cheek highlighted “Tesos Express” in southwest London. Today we bring you “Today’s Extra” from Hackney in east London and — as a bit of a readers’ bonus — “Singhbury’s” in the Wirral town of Wallasey.

We are reliably informed by Legal Cheek’s reserve of IP specialists that neither of these local grocers is likely to be troubled by an army of supermarket in-house lawyers.

“Nobody could be seriously confused here,” commented one. “Nor do the signs taint the Tesco or Sainsbury’s trademarks. So the store owners may well be in the clear.”

Others might suggest that Tesco’s legal team will have so much else on its plate that chucking cease and desist letters around the country’s high streets is not a priority.

Not only has the supermarket giant just announced its worst financial results since Noah popped into his local branch for several hundredweight of animal feed, it is facing high-profile legal actions.

The first relates to the senior team’s acknowledgement that the company overstated last year’s profits. And last week the Bloomberg news agency reported that the business faces possible legal action after allegedly conducting disciplinary hearings — which in some cases led to sackings — via email.


Yet another copyright infringement has surfaced on Twitter [Legal Cheek]



Whether they are “in the clear” and whether they will get nasty letters from the big supermarkets’ solicitors, are two separate issues, only loosely related. Would anyone advise Singhsbury’s to fight Sainsbury’s if the latter demanded undertakings?



The use of the term invalid is highly offensive and discriminatory to disabled people. I am surprised this hasn’t been removed before print.



Legallyblonde, I’m sure people will get over the term ‘invalid’



People shouldn’t have to ‘get over it’ it shouldn’t be used in the first place.


Juan Pertayta

It’s an unexceptionable term in law. See the Social Security (Invalid Care Allowance) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 for just one – really dull – example.

I know that certain terms in law (and medicine) have quite different effects in more general conversation, but this is a law website.

More to the point, disability language is quite hard to get right because what’s said to be acceptable changes so often and there’s no logic in the changes at all. I still don’t understand why handicapped [carrying an impediment] is not OK but disabled [wholly non-functioning] is just fine and dandy.



There’s a place on Gray’s Inn Road that is a complete rip-off of Tesco, but it appears they may have asked Google to blur out their business (if that’s possible) on Google Street View:,-0.119646,3a,53.7y,23.69h,93.4t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sFP_u1Hxswxh9QHXmjydWSw!2e0!6m1!1e1



Rosca Coffee in Streatham is still the best one


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