Kroger is suing the German grocery chain Lidl over trademark infringement.
In the lawsuit, Kroger claims that Lidl’s private-label brand called “Preferred Selection” too closely resembles Kroger’s own house brand, “Private Selection.”
The close resemblance of the names will cause confusion for customers and allow Lidl to “compete unfairly” with Kroger, because customers could assume that the two brands are associated with one another, the lawsuit states.
Kroger filed the lawsuit just two weeks after Lidl, which has 10,000 stores globally, opened its first stores in the US.
The lawsuit claims Kroger started using and marketing its “Private Selection” brand more than 20 years ago, and that Lidl filed a trademark for “Preferred Selection” last September.
“As a direct result of Lidl’s wrongful conduct, Kroger has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable injury,” the lawsuit states.
Kroger is the nation’s largest supermarket chain with nearly 3,000 stores. Lidl is opening 20 stores this summer, and has plans to launch another 80 locations by the middle of next year.
The two chains are expected to compete fiercely on prices, with Lidl promising to offer prices of up 30% below its competitors.
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