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US: Price Chopper drops Shoprite lawsuite

Price Chopper has withdrawn its trademark infringement lawsuit against competing supermarket chain ShopRite .

Price Chopper’s owner, Schenectady-based Golub Corp., filed notice in federal court in Albany that it was voluntarily dismissing the legal complaint “without prejudice,” against ShopRite’s owner, Wakefern Food Corp. in New Jersey.

Golub Corp. withdrew the lawsuit because ShopRite stopped using online links that had caused ads for ShopRite to appear first when people typed in “Price Chopper ad” on Google and other search engines, said Mona Golub, Price Chopper’s spokeswoman.

“We’ve withdrawn the complaint without prejudice, which gives us the opportunity to file a similar complaint if it happens again,” Golub said.

A ShopRite spokeswoman, Karen Meleta, previously told The Business Review the online ads were pulled the same day Golub Corp. filed the lawsuit.

"We were never served with the suit, so we do not have any comment on their decision to drop the complaint," she said today.

Both sides were in talks in late December to settle the lawsuit, which Golub Corp. filed nearly three weeks after ShopRite opened a store in Niskayuna, marking its return to the Albany area after a roughly 20-year absence.

“When we were made aware of how it was presented, we pulled it immediately,” Meleta said. “It was not the type of ad we were looking to purchase. We had not anticipated that kind of ad.”

Golub Corp. sought unspecified damages in the suit.

Golub Corp. has 128 stores in six states, with annual sales of about $3.4 billion. It is the largest supermarket chain in the Albany area.

Wakefern, the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S., finished the last fiscal year with $12.8 billion in sales. The company owns more than 230 ShopRite and 40 PriceRite discount stores.

Source: www.bizjournals.com

Publication date: 2/24/2012


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