Judge Ends 'Lucky' Name Dispute

The U.S. District Court has ruled that Albertsons retained the rights to use the Lucky store banner even though it had removed it from its stores. Berkeley, Calif.-based Grocery Outlet had placed the Lucky name on one of its stores in 2006, claiming that Albertsons had abandoned the trademark after converting former Lucky stores to the Albertsons banner in 1999. A judge ordered

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. District Court here has ruled that Albertsons retained the rights to use the Lucky store banner even though it had removed it from its stores.

Berkeley, Calif.-based Grocery Outlet had placed the Lucky name on one of its stores in 2006, claiming that Albertsons had abandoned the trademark after converting former Lucky stores to the Albertsons banner in 1999.

A judge ordered Grocery Outlet to stop using the name while he considered the case, and last month he finally ruled that Albertsons — now owned by Supervalu — had made sufficient efforts to continue using the name.

In issuing his decision, Judge Jeffrey S. White noted that Albertsons had discussed the possibility of rebannering some stores in Hispanic neighborhoods with the Lucky name since 2001 and had sold a limited number of Lucky-brand private-label products through 2005.

In 2007, Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart acquired 130 Albertsons stores in Northern California and rebranded more than half of them with the Lucky banner through an agreement with Supervalu.