4 July 2017Trademarks

Lidl faces Kroger lawsuit over ‘Preferred Selection’ range

After opening its first store in the US in June, Lidl is facing a lawsuit over a trademark it filed to cover a food range.

Kroger, which has over 2,000 retail stores in the US, sued the budget retailer over its ‘Preferred Selection’ range, claiming it was created to “capitalise on and benefit from the goodwill” of Kroger’s ‘Private Selection’ range.

The case was filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday, June 30.

Kroger further claimed that Lidl’s use of the ‘Preferred Selection’ mark and logo would “cause confusion, dilution and constitute unfair competition”.

According to the claim, correspondence between Lidl and Kroger’s in-house and outside counsel saw Lidl reject objections to the name raised by Kroger, which later went on to oppose a Lidl trademark registration in March of this year.

Lidl had applied to register the ‘Preferred Selection’ mark (US application number 87175637) in September of last year. It was registered to be used in connection with meats, alcohol, coffee, and fruit and vegetables.

“Lidl has commenced use of the ‘Preferred Selection’ mark with full knowledge of Kroger’s objections thereto and Kroger’s registrations,” Kroger stated in the claim.

It added: “Lidl’s actions have been wilful and deliberate acts of infringement and unfair competition, which will cause irreparable harm and other damages to Kroger.”

Kroger owns six trademarks and service marks for its ‘Private Selection’ range, including US registration numbers 2685492 and 2740565 for goods in classes 29, 30, 31, 32 and 35, dating back to 2003.

“Lidl’s use of the ‘Preferred Selection’ mark constitutes federal trademark and service mark infringement, federal dilution and unfair competition,” it concluded in saying.

It is seeking a ruling stating that Lidl wilfully infringed its trademarks, injunctive relief, all profits derived from the alleged infringements, damages, abandonment of the trademark application and all attorneys’ fees.

Lidl opened its first stores in the US in June of this year, and plans to open over 100 stores by the summer of 2018, the company stated in a press release.

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More on this story

19 July 2017   Budget retailer Lidl has hit out over accusations by rival Kroger that it has attempted to “capitalise on and benefit from the goodwill” of a food range.
13 September 2017   Supermarkets Kroger and Lidl have agreed to dismiss a trademark infringement claim centring on a food range launched by Lidl.