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BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is going to court to prevent rival Kmart Corp. from using a shopping bag carousel similar to its own patented version, according to published reports.
Wal-Mart has a patent on its carousel that holds its blue plastic shopping bags. The cashier drops items into bags as merchandise is rung up, and spins the rack to make the effort easier for both the cashier and the customer lifting out the bags.
Wal-Mart is suing in a Delaware court to keep Troy, Mich.-based Kmart from using a similar device.
"We're both Delaware companies, and we thought it was a neutral area to get a fair hearing," Wal-Mart spokesman Tom Williams said Thursday. "The suit is a patent issue and that carousel device, as we have it, has been patented."
The carousels are in more than 1,500 Wal-Mart stores, Williams said, and more are being added as new stores open or existing ones are remodeled. Wal-Mart has 3,430 domestic stores.