WHILE some may say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it would appear that for others it is a bit of a nuisance.

Tesco has told the Hereford Times that it always take steps to protect its brand after being made aware of one city newsagent’s new shopfront.

The shop on Folly Lane in Tupsley underwent a change of ownership late last year and the new man in charge has defended the branding.

Sris Kumar said no one could hold the copyright to a name or a colour and insisted the new facade had improved the appearance of the building.

Staff at the Hereford Express said students from the nearby colleges had asked them about the similarity with the multinational’s express stores but felt it would be ridiculous should Tesco pick a fight with a small independent shop.

Mr Kumar said he had not yet been contacted by anyone from Tesco but would insist to them that he had done nothing wrong.

Two years ago, Tesco was denied in its attempt to trademark the blue dashes in its logo after the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) insisted the shape was too “simple”.

Marketing Magazine reported that “while it was recognised that the dashes might be associated with Tesco, the IPO maintained that they only represented punctuation”.

When asked about the Hereford newsagent’s new branding, a Tesco spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on specific cases but we always take appropriate steps in order to protect our brand.”