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Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., and Arlington, Va.-based Lidl US agreed to dismiss a federal lawsuit by Kroger about similarities between their house brands.
The joint stipulation of dismissal was filed Sept. 7 in the U.S. District court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond. The parties agreed to cover their own legal fees and costs, and because the case was dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be refiled.
Kroger filed suit in late June, taking issue with Lidl’s “Preferred Selection” store brand. Kroger said the name and look were too similar to its “Private Selection” house brand.
The one word difference, Kroger claimed, created “confusion for customers and dilutes the value of its brand.”
Lidl fired back, saying Kroger had plenty of notice of the new label and its timing was suspicious.
“Kroger is using this lawsuit to try to: disrupt the on-going launch of a new, emerging competitor that offers consumers high-quality products at lower prices; distract from the positive reviews garnered by Lidl’s launch by painting Lidl as a copycat – when in fact Lidl is a decidedly different and (better) grocery experience; and drive up Lidl’s cost by having to defend against Kroger’s spurious claims.”
“Although Kroger learned in November 2016 that Lidl intended to offer private-label products under the ‘Preferred Selection’ name and had more than six months to prepare its moving papers, Kroger has offered a striking absence of support in its claims.”