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Kroger is defending its turf


The nation's largest supermarket operator is suing the German discount grocer Lidl over trademark infringement.

In a complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Kroger claims that Lidl’s house brand, “Preferred Selection,” too closely resembles Kroger's own brand, “Private Selection.”

“Lidl is misrepresenting to consumers, and contributing to the ability of others to misrepresent, that the goods and services of Lidl are sponsored by, approved by, or certified by Kroger, or that Kroger is the source of same,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit claims Kroger started using its "Private Selection" brand more than 20 years ago, and that 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.

The suit was filed only two weeks after Lidl opened its first stores in the United States. The German grocer is opening 20 stores this summer, and plans to have 100 up and running by next summer.

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