Thursday, July 25, 2024

US Supreme Court Rejects Kroger’s Appeal in Grubhub Trademark Case

US Supreme Court declined to review a request by supermarket chain Kroger to block Grubhub from using its goose-knife logo, which Kroger said would confuse the branding of its Home Chef meal-kit service.

The justices rejected Kroger’s appeal of a lower court decision, which ruled Grubhub’s mark was not sufficiently similar to Home Chef’s to warrant a ban after a lawsuit filed by Grubhub, a subsidiary of Netherlands’ Just Eat, the market said it lacked Kroger’s trademark rights.

Just Eat was acquired by Grubhub in 2021 and after that the Grubhub logo was changed to match its branding. The new logo features an image of a house with a fork and knife in the middle, similar to the Home Chef logo, which also includes a fork and knife in the house image

In response to the logo change, Kroger of Cincinnati sent a cease and desist letter to Grubhub, America’s largest grocer by revenue The letter indicated that Grubhub’s new logo infringed on the Home Chef trademark, creating Grubhub prejudice against Kroger in Illinois federal court later that year Prompted, Grubhub sought a court declaration that its logo did not infringe on Kroger’s trademark rights.

Kroger countered with the aid of requesting a preliminary injunction to prevent Grubhub from using the contested brand. A Justice of the Peace choose first of all sided with Kroger, suggesting that there has been sufficient chance of patron confusion to justify an injunction. However, US District Judge Charles Norgle disagreed and denied Kroger’s request for the injunction.

The choice changed into in the end upheld by the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Judge John Lee, writing for the 7th Circuit, cited that it changed into unlikely customers might confuse the two trademarks. He emphasized that the Grubhub emblem prominently displayed Grubhub’s brand name, making it not likely that a client could mistake it for Home Chef.

“We do not see how a customer interacting with the Grubhub House Logo ought to fairly believe that she was attractive with Home Chef, particularly where the accused mark prominently capabilities Grubhub’s very own logo call,” Judge Lee wrote within the appellate court’s opinion.

Kroger took the problem to the Supreme Court, arguing that the case highlighted inconsistencies in how courts compare the risk of patron confusion in trademark disputes. Kroger claimed that those inconsistencies lead to “incomplete, unbalanced, and unpredictable trademark infringement choices.”

Despite Kroger’s arguments, the Supreme Court’s choice to shrink back the attraction way that the lower courtroom rulings will stand. This outcome permits Grubhub to keep the use of its fork-and-knife logo with out the threat of an injunction based on Kroger’s claims of trademark infringement.

This choice marks a tremendous factor inside the ongoing prison battles over trademark rights and client confusion. It underscores the demanding situations organizations face in shielding their brand identities, especially in a marketplace wherein visible similarities can spark disputes. For now, Grubhub can preserve its branding strategy while Kroger have to discover different avenues if it desires to contest the brand’s utilization further.

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