Kroger, Lidl private label trademarks
RICHMOND, Va. — While Lidl announced seven more July store openings in the United States, the German-based discount retailer is facing some pressure from an American giant.

The Kroger Co., the nation’s largest supermarket chain, is suing Lidl over the latter’s Preferred Selection private label. In a June 30 lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, Kroger said Lidl’s Preferred Selection brand is too similar to its own Private Selection label.

In the lawsuit Kroger has alleged that Lidl’s Preferred Selection mark and logo “would be likely to cause confusion, likely to cause dilution, and constitute unfair competition.” Lidl’s Preferred Selection brand was registered in September of last year, while Kroger’s Private Selection label has been used for more than 20 years.

“The use of (the Private Selection) mark has grown continuously and extensively since then along with the size and national reach of the Kroger family of stores, which include supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail stores of diverse sizes and formats,” the filing noted.

The suit claims that Lidl has competed unfairly with Kroger and that “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.”

Kroger is seeking compensation from all profits from Lidl’s Preferred Selection brand.