Kroger Sues Lidl Over Trademark Infringement

Just a few weeks after German value grocery chain Lidl opened its first U.S. stores, Cincinnati-based grocer, Kroger filed a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement.

In the lawsuit, Kroger claims that Lidl’s private brand named “Preferred Selection” too closely resembles its own private brand, “Private Selection.”

The retailer claims that the close resemblance of will cause consumer confusion and allow Lidl to “compete unfairly” because customers could assume that the two brands are affiliated.

According to the filing, Kroger started using “Private Selection” more than 20 years ago, whereas Lidl filed a trademark for “Preferred Selection” last September.

“As a direct result of Lidl’s wrongful conduct, Kroger has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable injury,” the lawsuit states.

Preferred Selection joins a parade of premium private brands with similar uninspired names including Albertsons/Safeway’s “Signature Select”; Aldi’s “Specially Selected”, and Associated Wholesale Grocers “Superior Selections.”

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.