Kroger takes Lidl US to court over own brand trademark
CINCINNATI — Kroger on Friday filed litigation against Lidl US for infringing on the grocer's own private label program.
At issue is Lidl US' own brand "Preferred Selection," which Kroger charges is virtually indentical to that company's store label "Private Selection." "Lidl's actions herein have been willful and deliberate acts of infringement and unfair competition, which will cause irreparable harm and other damages to Kroger," Kroger stated in its suit filing.
According to the lawsuit, Kroger first opposed Lidl US' use of "Preferred Selection" through the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trade Office in March.
Lidl US has not yet responded to the suit, according to court documents published on June 30, and likewise has not issued any statements addressing the suit.
With a leaner, stronger store base, Rite Aid goes to work
First-time attendees look forward to all that McKesson ideaShare offers
McKesson ideaShare is on pace for record attendance this year with customer attendees representing nearly 1,900 independent pharmacies across the United States. Connecting customers with industry experts and peers, McKesson ideaShare will feature more than 124 networking sessions, seminars and workshops, and 30 continuing education sessions. The conference is designed to provide attendees with tangible, information and best practices that are easy to take home and implement in their own stores to improve their performance and profitability.
This year also features more than 900 first-time attendees. DSN caught up with first-time attendees Jan Scott, owner of Nicholls Pharmacy in Nicholls, Ga., and Yunus Wasel of Greater Care Pharmacy in Warren, Mich., to ask why they decided to attend McKesson ideaShare this year and what they expect to get out of the meeting.
DSN: Why did you decide to attend McKesson ideaShare?
Wasel: As a new pharmacy with McKesson, it is very valuable for me to attend the McKesson ideaShare meeting for a number of reasons. First, I’m very interested in learning what I can do to improve my pharmacy’s performance and growth from all angles. Second, I’d like to network with other pharmacy owners and learn from their experiences on how to go about handling certain issues, and third, to complete a few CE courses.
Scott: We’ve been going through some soul searching since we’re a small store in a town of 3,000 people. We’re 12 miles from any healthcare center of any kind, so we wind up providing a lot of healthcare advice and ancillary services for a fairly low socio-economic patient base that often doesn’t have transportation to get to healthcare appointments. We’re attending McKesson ideaShare to get ideas for things to bring back to the community that we didn’t have available before. We want to provide as many ancillary services as possible. As payment pressures increase, we’re looking for new ideas to generate revenue and help with competition.
DSN: What are the top two things you would like to accomplish at McKesson ideaShare?
Scott: The No. 1 thing is to increase patient services, such as diabetes education, and I want to learn about new ideas for how to help patients improve their quality of life. Vaccinations are another important area. I’ve completed the training, but want to get ideas and advice on how to get the program finalized and set up. From a business and operational standpoint, I’ve selected a variety of CE courses on management topics, such as business problems in rural settings. I also need to have a better understanding of what the PBMs are doing and what we can do about it: DIRs are front and center.
Wasel: I would like to learn about what else I can do to improve customer satisfaction and pharmacy profit, and how to achieve those improvements at my pharmacy. I also want to learn ahead of time what opportunities or obstacles are expected in the near future for independent pharmacies from federal regulations, compliance and insurance reimbursements.
DSN: Are there specific programs or services that you want to learn more about at McKesson ideaShare?
Scott: We have gone through the brochure very closely and are interested in helping diabetes patients with adherence and outcomes. I’m interested in the DIR estimator and the Game Changers in pharmacy session, and have signed up my husband, who takes care of the business side of things, for a number of effective pharmacy management sessions.
Owning a pharmacy is not just about monetary profit. It's love and passion to serve others that drives me daily. This can only be accomplished by having a sustainable business so that I can continue to be a valued healthcare provider to my small community who needs me. It's my responsibility to run a good pharmacy for my patients' sake. I know my peers feel the same way, which is why our whole goal is to share ideas and get ideas.
Wasel: I’m very interested in seeing what programs McKesson has to offer and to meet with different vendors and third parties that I may not learn about without attending the meeting and seeing it all in person. I would say pharmacy management and medication synchronization are on the top of my list, so I can get a better understanding of how to implement both at the pharmacy.
DSN: How do you plan to capture ideas to implement in your pharmacy after McKesson ideaShare?
Wasel: I expect to be able to come back with plans to put forward at the pharmacy by attending sessions on the top topics, networking with other pharmacy owners, checking out McKesson program and solutions on the show floor, as well as meeting with other vendors. I'm glad McKesson puts together events like ideaShare to bring its customers together to learn and at the same time, appreciate our role in the pharmacy field. Without it, I don’t know where I’d find the time or resources to come up with brand new ideas to improve performance at my pharmacy.
Scott: We’re going to attend sessions, gather paperwork and apps to bring back and help the practice. I really like the idea of the Roadmap Planning working session to develop a plan, a strategy for what to do and how. It is great to have access to ideas and guidance from peers who have already done it – that’s what this meeting is all about.
DSN will follow Scott and Wasel as they attend McKesson ideaShare next week and offer a recap of their experience after the McKesson ideaShare meeting. Stay tuned for more information.