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Walgreens sues Wegmans over logo
November 8th, 2010
The Walgreens "flying W" logo
NEW YORK – Walgreen Co. has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Wegmans Food Markets Inc., claiming the supermarket chain's logo is too similar.
In the suit, filed late last month in U.S. District Court in Virginia, Walgreens alleges that the scripted 'W' in the Wegmans logo too closely resembles what the Deerfield, Ill.-based drug store chain described as its "flying W logo."
Walgreens said in the suit that it began using a script logo with the flying W in 1951. The company claimed that Wegmans in late 2008 introduced a script logo "incorporating a stylized W logo that is similar to the plaintiff's flying W logo, an open lowercase 'g' and ending in the lower script letters 'ns' and has begun using its Wegmans script logo in connection with its retail grocery services, including pharmacy services and general consumer merchandise retail services, and on packaging for a wide variety of products."
In turn, Walgreens alleges in the suit that consumers might be confused or misled that the two companies are associated.
Walgreens seeks to have Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans discontinue use of the disputed logo as well as pay damages for the alleged infringement, according to the court documents.
"The Walgreens script and 'W' logo have been in use for many years and are well-known throughout the country," Walgreens said Monday in a statement. "We want to ensure it isn't diluted by Wegmans' new logo."
Wegmans on Monday declined to provide comment on the Walgreens lawsuit.
However, a Wegmans spokesman earlier told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that the supermarket chain's current logo was designed to look like those it used in the 1930s and 1940s and that the company didn't think there would be consumer confusion between the two retailers. She said in the Democrat & Chronicle report that the lawsuit was a surprise to Wegmans and that Walgreens hadn't communicated any concerns before filing the suit.
Wegmans has 77 supermarkets, all with pharmacies, in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland. Walgreens operates more than 7,600 drug stores nationwide.