12 April 2022TrademarksAlex Baldwin

Kroger ‘likely to prevail’ in Grubhub logo suit

Grubhub’s new logo is too similar to a trademark for US supermarket chain Kroger’s “Home Chef” brand and should not be used, a Chicago judge has suggested.

US magistrate judge Jeffrey Cummings recommended that the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois grant a preliminary injunction to Kroger in its trademark dispute with Grubhub in a report filed on April 8.

Grubhub filed a defensive suit against Kroger in October 2021, seeking a declaratory judgment that its new logo—featuring a combined house, knife and fork—did not cause confusion with Kroger’s Home Chef logo.

Grubhub inherited the new logo following its acquisition by Dutch online food ordering company Just Eat in June 2020 for $7.3 billion.

Kroger’s Home Chef submitted a cease and desist letter to Grubhub following the new logo reveal, asking the company to stop using the inherited logo in the US as it infringed on its own “virtually identical” logo.

According to the complaint, Grubhub had made “repeated attempts” to resolve the dispute with Kroger “amicably” outside of court but claimed that Kroger was “ambivalent” in discussing the dispute.

“There is no likelihood of confusion between the marks, notwithstanding Home Chef’s allegations, demands, and baseless threats of litigation against Grubhub,” Grubhub claimed.

Home Chef filed a motion for preliminary injunction on November 3, 2021, seeking an order enjoining Grubhub from using its new logo in its advertising, promotions, and marketing.

In his report and recommendation submitted on April 8, Cummings suggested that the court grant Home Chef’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

Cummings claimed that Home Chef had demonstrated that it was likely to succeed on the merits of a claim for trademark infringement, noting that the “minor stylistic differences” between the two logos, Home Chef provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate confusion.

He also noted that Home Chef’s “apparent delay” in seeking injunctive relief did not serve to rebut its claim that it would suffer “irreparable harm” if denied the injunction.

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