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BERKELEY, Calif. -- The tug-of-war between extreme value discounter Grocery Outlet and soon-to-be partitioned mega-chain Albertsons over the Lucky banner escalated yet again yesterday, as Grocery Outlet filed an amended complaint with the U.S. District Court for Northern California claiming that it's not infringing on Albertson's rights, and that on the contrary, Albertsons' recent scurrying to activate the Lucky name constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition.
"[Albertsons'] actions are malicious, fraudulent, and deliberate," Bob Tiernan, president and c.o.o. of Grocery Outlet said to Progressive Grocer, of Albertsons' sudden resuscitation of the Lucky logo in its ads and on its Web site.
The amended complaint states that, "The actions of defendants [Albertsons] are likely to cause confusion, to cause mistakes, and/or to deceive customers and potential customers of the parties, at least as to some affiliation, connection, or association of defendants with Grocery Outlet, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of defendants' goods, services, or commercial activities by Grocery Outlet."
Grocery Outlet's complaint concludes with a petition to cancel all federal and state Lucky trademarks owned by Albertsons. "What it really comes down to is the fact that we have a store open now called Lucky, and they haven't used the name in six years," said Jon Wylie, v.p. of marketing for Grocery Outlet.
-- Joseph Tarnowski