Supermarket chain Kroger has filed a lawsuit against German grocery chain Lidl over trademark infringement, just two weeks after the latter forayed into the US market.
The US retailer claimed that Lidl's Preferred Selection private-label brand closely resembles Kroger's private label, Private Selection.
Customers will be confused with the similar names, subsequently enabling Lidl to unfairly compete with Kroger.
With 10,000 outlets worldwide, Lidl recently opened its first stores in the US, in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
In the lawsuit, Kroger stated that it has been using its Private Selection label for the last two decades, while Lidl filed a trademark for Preferred Selection last September.
Kroger claimed in the lawsuit: "As a direct result of Lidl's wrongful conduct, Kroger has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable injury."
Kroger has almost 3,000 stores.
Lidl plans to open 20 outlets this year and intends to open another 80 outlets by the middle of next year.