In an initial ruling, a judge has denied Kroger's request that Lidl stop selling their Preferred Selection private brand. But the fight is not over.
According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. indicated in his July 25 ruling that although the brand logos look alike, they “don’t have an identical or similar meaning.”
A trial date has now been set for Jan. 11, 2018.
Kroger, the largest traditional grocery store in the country, is suing Lidl, the newest player in the U.S. grocery game, because of alleged trademark infringement and unfair competition.
Kroger claims that their store brand label, "Private Selection," is too similar to the Lidl "Preferred Selection" label.
The lawsuit, filed June 30, claims, “By purposely targeting Kroger’s Private Selection mark, Lidl’s new U.S. stores unfairly and quickly acquire immediate legitimacy and customer trust, both of which would take years to build if Lidl’s products were sold under a unique brand rather than one that mimics Kroger’s.”
Lidl responded that Kroger is “using this lawsuit to try to disrupt the ongoing launch of a new, emerging competitor that offers consumers high-quality products at far lower prices; distract from the positive reviews garnered by Lidl’s launch by painting Lidl as a copycat and drive up Lidl’s costs by having to defend against Kroger’s spurious claims.”
Lidl operates more than 10,000 stores multiple countries throughout Europe and they opened their U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia in June 2015. The first Lidl stores opened in North Carolina and other states in the U.S. on June 15, 2017. Approximately 90% of groceries at Lidl are exclusive brand products.
For more information on the lawsuit, see CouponsInTheNews.com.