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Law professor: Virginia grocers wise to avoid costs of litigation

The tension was thick as two Virginia grocery chains stared each other down like gunfighters in an old Clint Eastwood western. German grocer Lidl is the new kid in town with a reputation for burying the competition with low prices. Kroger is the old hand, having survived many previous showdowns.

This time at least, the two companies thought better of settling their differences in court. A professor at the University of Richmond School of Law said it appears that plaintiff Kroger decided "that it wasn’t worth the time, money and effort to go on with the litigation."

In many cases, that is the sort of advice an experienced business law attorney will give to a client: it is often prudent to avoid costly litigation and instead come to a negotiated settlement.

The professor noted that it is possible in this trademark and branding dispute between the two companies that there has been a settlement agreement that helped resolve matters.

Kroger had claimed that the logo for newcomer Lidl's store brand Preferred Selection was too close to Kroger's own store brand logo.

The two grocers recently jointly agreed to a dismissal of the federal lawsuit Kroger had filed. The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can't be refiled later. Both companies agreed to bear their own costs related to the suit.

As noted, it's typically better for companies and their business law attorneys to resolve disputes outside of courtrooms. Litigation is sometimes unavoidable, however, and in those situations it is to a business's advantage to have on their side a McLean trial law firm.

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