“Bullying” Tesco order small pet store to change logo


Supermarket giant Tesco was today accused of ”bullying” after it ordered a small independent pet food store to change its logo over claims it infringed copyright.

Bosses at Petco were stunned when they received a threatening letter warning them that their logo infringed Tesco ”intellectual copyright”.

The 3,000 sq ft pet food shop – which has an annual turnover of less than #250,000 – is a far cry from the multi-million pound worldwide Tesco brand.

But Petco has been forced to back down and develop a new logo because its owners do not have the money to fight the Tesco legal department in court.

Petco partner Elliott Martin, 36, today said any similarities between the Petco and Tesco logo was purely ”accidental”.

He said: ”If you come to our shop you can clearly see it’s not a Tesco. A Tesco has a huge supermarket, big entrance and rows of tills.

”We’re a small independent pet food shop with an annual turnover of less than a quarter of a million. There’s no way someone will walk in here thinking it’s Tesco.

”It’s pointless taking them on in the court because, although we might win, we can’t compete with their money and influence.

”They are just a big bully in the community and there is nothing you can do about them.

”We wanted to use red and blue and it just seemed to end up similar to Tesco, it was accidental.

”The name Petco has five letters and two of them are c and o so whatever logo we design it will always have some similarities with Tesco.”

Business partners Elliot Martin and John Dipple, 50, opened Petco in Haverhill, Cambs., in May, selling cut price pet food for dogs, cats and birds.

Tesco’s corporate and legal affairs team sent the firm a letter on October 4 with a photograph surveillance officers had taken of the Petco store and sign.

The letter demanded Petco change the ‘stylisation’ of the logo sign and remove the image on any paperwork.

It read: ”The overall impression created by the infringing logo is confusingly similar by impression created by the Tesco trademark.

”We therefore consider the use of the logo an infringement of intellectual property rights.

”Your use of the infringing logo suggests there is a connection between Tesco and yourselves, when in fact there is not.”

Petco backed down last month after realising that the cost of fighting the copyright issue in court to expensive.

Local firm Xcel Print and Promotion created a new logo free of charge removing the blue chevrons and replacing it with silhouettes of a cat and a dog.


  1. Petco partner Elliott Martin, 36, today said any similarities between the Petco and Tesco logo was purely ”accidental”.

    Yeah right! This guy tried to be a bit cheeky and got caught out. Trademark law xists for a reason.

    • Yes, Mark we were being a bit cheeky, but our understanding of the law is that the style has to be 10% different, which we think we are way more then. BUT who can afford to challange Tesco.

      • you have no understanding of law, if you did you wouldn’t be running a 2 bit pet shop ripping off other peoples ideas


        Everyone can afford to challenge tesco, fact is – you would lose, completely

  2. It’s just a case of the big guys bullying the little guys again. Tesco’s have too much power. Who do they think they are!

  3. The similarities are purely accidental – my @r$e!

    Have they never been to Tesco? Did the sign maker not realise?

    Just because its obvious your not a supermarket does not mean they weren’t trying to trade on Tescos image by producing a similar logo, using almost identical colours and fonts.

  4. Clearly the intention was to spoof Tesco’s sign, and the outcome was predictable.
    tesco were quite right to challenge. Just because they’re big, that doesn’t mean they’re without rights.

    Petco, have some self esteem, stand on your own feet, don’t try to get a free ride on someone else’s

  5. Bullying? Tesco owns their brand and with that comes the need to defend it. The Petco logo is much too similar, and it is reasonable to assume an average person might mistake the two brands as being related.

    Hard to believe “our logo is a crappy ripoff and we are sad” qualifies as news

  6. Petco, just admit defeat and back down gracefully…
    surely if you have the intellect to run a £250,000 operation then you must have the ability to develop a logo that doesnt look like Tesco…
    while you are news, why not run a competition with a small prize?

  7. It doesnt matter what logo Petco has, when they first opened I thought the logo was very similar to Tesco.  Good for them.  It never made me think they were part of or associated with Tesco.

    Anyway people with pets in Haverhill should think themselves lucky that they have such a good shop to buy their pet products from.  

    They offer excellent value for money, they have kind, caring and informative staff and will always get you a product if they dont stock it.

    We enjoy our trip to Petco once a week much more than we do walking around Tescos. 

  8. It’s not bullying at all, you deliberately tried to imitate their logo as closely as possible and got caught. You can’t have any complaint.

  9. The problem here is that the logos are so similar that people will invariably believe that Petco is a sibsidiary of Tesco. In any case of this nature, if the performance of the ‘copier’ store falls below the standard expected, it will invariably rub off on the original store, thereby damaging their reputation. Tesco were completely within their rights to challenge this.


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