In this file:
· Lidl denies that it copied Kroger's private brands logo
· Kroger to make $1 billion contribution to its benefit plans
Lidl denies that it copied Kroger's private brands logo
By Tammie Smith, Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Jul 14, 2017
Grocery giant Kroger does not have the right to preclude others from using generic terms in connection with any good or service, attorneys for grocery chain Lidl US wrote in response to Kroger’s lawsuit claiming Lidl copied its logo for its premium store brands.
Kroger filed suit June 30 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond claiming Lidl’s “Preferred Selection” brand logo was similar to Kroger’s “Private Selection” brand logo that Kroger has used for about 20 years.
Germany-based Lidl, which has its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, opened its first 10 stores in the U.S., including stores in Hampton and Virginia Beach, on June 15. Four Richmond-area Lidl stores open July 27. Lidl plans to open at least 100 stores in the United States by next summer.
In a response filed with the federal court late Friday, Lidl US denied Kroger’s allegations of trademark infringement. Responding paragraph by paragraph to each claim or statement in Kroger’s complaint, Lidl also denied Kroger’s claims that the logos could be confused by consumers.
“Lidl denies that its use of Preferred Selection is likely to cause confusion, likely to cause dilution, or constitutes unfair competition,” Lidl attorneys wrote.
The logos feature the words private or preferred above the word selection.
Lidl denies that Kroger is entitled to any monetary relief. Kroger’s complaint requested the court to award it an amount that includes all profits Lidl receives from sales of Lidl’s Preferred Selection branded products, plus damages for trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition.
Lidl’s response also states...
Kroger to make $1 billion contribution to its benefit plans
Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Reuters
July 17, 2017
(Reuters) - Kroger Co (KR.N), the biggest U.S. supermarket operator, said on Monday it would make a contribution of up to $1 billion to its under-funded benefit plans.
The company will issue debt to pay for its pension liability, Kroger said in a regulatory filing, adding its overall balance sheet obligations will not change. (bit.ly/2u0MKRP)
Kroger said contributions to the plan are "strategic opportunities" due to the current interest rate environment and potential changes to the U.S. tax code, among others.
Certain benefit balances of the fund could be transferred to other retirement plan options or a lump sum payout.
Kroger, which had total debt of $13.44 billion as of May 20, said it would incur a one-time expense following the settlement, but noted that the expense would not affect its 2017 earnings forecast.
Last month, Kroger slashed its full-year earnings forecast...