Supreme Court Declines Review of Kroger Logo Copyright Lawsuit

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Kroger Logo Copyright Lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a Seventh Circuit ruling that Grubhub Inc.’s fork-and-knife logo does not infringe on a similar emblem used by Kroger’s meal-kit delivery service, Home Chef.

Kroger Logo Copyright Lawsuit : Background of the Case

Kroger Co. petitioned the justices in January, arguing that the appeals court wrongly upheld an Illinois district court ruling. Kroger contended that the lower court did not analyze all seven likelihood of confusion factors required by the Seventh Circuit in trademark infringement cases. Kroger further argued that the appeals court broke its own precedent by not reviewing the lower court’s conclusion for clear error.

Grubhub initiated the lawsuit against Kroger and Relish Labs LLC, which operates as Home Chef, in 2021. This legal action followed a cease-and-desist letter from Kroger, which claimed that Grubhub’s fork-and-knife logo, superimposed over an orange house, infringed on Home Chef’s trademark. In response, Kroger and Home Chef sought a preliminary injunction.

Kroger Logo Copyright Lawsuit : Court Decisions

A magistrate judge recommended granting the preliminary injunction after analyzing the circuit’s seven likelihood of confusion factors. The district court adopted these factual findings but denied the preliminary injunction, having analyzed only three of the seven factors: similarity of the marks, intent, and actual confusion. The court stated that analyzing the other four factors would not alter its conclusion that Grubhub had a likelihood of success on the merits—a conclusion upheld by the Seventh Circuit in September.