BEAUTY CARE

Kroger, Lidl drop own brand trademark infringement suit

BY Michael Johnsen

RICHMOND, Va.— The U.S. District Court here on Tuesday officially dismissed the Kroger lawsuit against Lidl, which alleged Lidl infringed on Kroger's private label trademark. Both parties filed a stipulation of dismissal on Sept. 7, the court reported.

According to that stipulation, the parties agreed to dismiss the suit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled anytime in the future, with each side bearing their own attorney fees and court costs.

Kroger initially filed the claim in July.

The decision to drop the case was preceeded by a decision issued by U.S. District Judge John Gibney, Jr. in July, which ruled against placing an inunction on Lidl, reporting that Kroger had not clearly shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims.

According to court documents, Kroger's private label sales totaled $2 billion in 2016, with a penetration of 25 million households. A survey by Prof. Isabella Cunningham, a partner at EM Research Group, found that 54% of Kroger's frequent shoppers recognized the "Private Selection" as coming from a single source, with 58% of those shoppers identifying Kroger as that source.

"Kroger's own survey shows that less than a third of its regular customers associate Private Selection with Kroger," Gibney stated.

"Kroger has shown only the possiblity of consumer confusion and thus only the possibility of irreparable harm," Gibney continued. "While Kroger has not shown a likelihood of harm, Lidl has only one chance to launch its stores in a new country and would likely suffer if it had to do so without its line of [own brand] premium producdts," he concluded. "The public interest lies in robust competition, and the risk posed to Kroger by Lidl's Preferred Selection mark does not outweigh that interest."
 

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HBO’s Issa Rae named newest CoverGirl

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK — Golden Globe-nominated actor and “Insecure” creator Issa Rae has been named the newest CoverGirl. The brand announced Rae’s addition to its roster of CoverGirls Tuesday, a few days after the second season finale of “Insecure.”

“My character is ever-evolving, and makeup is a tool to help transform my persona – whether for a role I play in content that I produce, or the different roles I take on in my life,” Rae said. “Becoming a CoverGirl means a lot because the brand recognizes just how important it is for people to embrace their individuality and express themselves in unique and diverse ways. This has been a major part of my personal journey, and a message that I want to share with others.”

CoverGirl said, “With her characteristic wit and charm, unique observations on life and culture, and outspoken but relatable nature, Issa truly embodies the CoverGirl spirit of inclusive self-expression, inspiring people to embrace what makes them unique and confidently represent that to the world.”

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Unilever adds fragrance-level ingredients to SmartLabel

BY David Salazar

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Customers purchasing Unilever personal care products will now be able to easily see what’s inside. The company is now listing fragrance-level ingredients for products from its brands that include Dove, Axe, Degree, Nexxus, Suave, TRESemmé and Vaseline.

The listing of fragrance-level information is part of the company’s February commitment to providing access to such information for all of its home and personal care product, updating the company’s SmartLabel pages to include fragrance in a product up down to 100 parts per million.

“After just seven months, we are now live with fragrance ingredient lists added to the SmartLabel page for dozens of our personal care products,” the company said in a post on Medium. “We have also added descriptions to each fragrance ingredient to help consumers understand their purpose and benefit.”

Unilever said that in the coming months, it would continue to add fragrance information for all of its personal care products, with a plan to complete the effort by the end of 2018.

“At Unilever, we believe transparency is fundamental to running a sustainable business,” the company said. “We want people to feel confident that the Unilever products they use every day are safe and effective.”

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