U.S.: Kroger and Lidl agree to dismiss trademark lawsuit
Supermarket chains Kroger and Lidl have jointly agreed to dismiss a federal lawsuit brought by the former against the latter over alleged trademark infringement.
The two companies filed a joint stipulation of dismissal in the case last week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond, according to publication The Richmond Times.
The story said the case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled, and each side agreed to bear its own fees and costs.
Germany-based discount retailer Lidl had only recently entered into the U.S. market when competitor Kroger filed a lawsuit on June 30 alleging Lidl's ‘Preferred Selection’ brand label too closely resembled its own ‘Private Selection’ label.
“The case has been dismissed,” Lidl US spokesman Will Harwood told The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“Lidl’s launch in the United States has been a great success so far. We look forward to more store openings, and are pleased to continue to offer our customers Lidl’s Preferred Selection, which was recently awarded by the editors of Store Brands the Top Innovation Award of 2017.”
U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. had reportedly denied Kroger’s request for the preliminary injunction after a hearing on July 25 and had set the case for a bench trial Jan. 11.
Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law, was quoted as saying: "I think that what you saw when you watched the judge deny the preliminary injunction sort of gave a sense of where the case might go."
“I think that was just a signal that it wasn’t worth the time, money and effort to go on with the litigation is my sense. And maybe they might even have gotten bad publicity from continuing," he told the publication.