Only two weeks after Lidl’s U.S. launch, Ohio-based grocery giant Kroger has filed suit against the German retailer for trademark infringement. According to news source Business Insider, Kroger is suing Lidl’s stateside arm Lidl US over the company’s private-label brand "Preferred Selection." The suit alleges that Lidl’s Preferred Selection house brand too closely resembles Kroger’s own "Private Selection."
Kroger’s suit, filed June 30th in Virginia Eastern District Court, alleges that the close resemblance between the two names will cause confusion and suggest that the two brands are associated with each other, thus allowing Lidl to "compete unfairly," according to Business Insider.
In its lawsuit, Kroger notes that the company has used the "Private Selection" brand for more than 20 years and that Lidl filed for a trademark on "Preferred Selection" in the U.S. as recently as last September.
"As a direct result of Lidl’s wrongful conduct," the filing alleges, "Kroger has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable injury, including, but not limited to, injury to its trademarks and to the goodwill and business reputation associated with those trademarks."
Lidl made headlines throughout 2017 after the company announced accelerated plans to enter the U.S. market and boasted about prices potentially well below competitors. Kroger, meanwhile, made the news, too, with store acquisitions and other expansion efforts aimed at shoring up the company’s position as a premier retailer throughout the U.S.
Will Kroger’s suit find favor in a court of law? And how will Lidl fare as the company expands further in the state? Deli Market News will continue to report.