Oak Park Food Market – doing business in the village for nearly 90 years – sued Jewel-Osco recently over a name dispute.
The independent grocer, which has operated in the village since 1923, sued Jewel’s parent company July 17 in Cook County Circuit Court, seeking at least $30,001.
The dispute is over Jewel-Osco’s Madison Street branch in Oak Park, which is also called “Oak Park Market,” according to a sign on its front along Madison. Oak Park Food Market, 133 S. Oak Park Ave., has been asking Jewel since 1999 to stop using the name, but the company has not complied, according to the complaint.
Gus Boudros II, owner of the food market for 18 years, declined to comment Monday until Jewel’s parent company, Supervalu, Inc., responds to the complaint. A call to Boudros’ attorney seeking comment on Monday was not immediately returned.
The suit alleges that Jewel’s “Oak Park Market” name is too similar in nature and infringes on Oak Park Food Market’s trademark. The company was incorporated under the name in April of this year and has held the trademark since September of 1999.
The Jewel, located at 438 Madison, is less than one mile from Oak Park Food Market, and the similar names and products of the two stores have caused confusion to customers, according to the complaint. An attorney wrote a cease-and-desist letter to Jewel’s previous parent company, Albertson’s Inc., in 1999, and the company declined a month later.
“Mr. Boudros has been told about or has been involved in numerous instances of actual consumer confusion involving the parties’ trademarks, which continue to the present day,” the suit alleges.
The village board granted a packaged-liquor license to the Madison Jewel in May, which Boudros believes will further confuse customers. He is seeking repayment of costs and attorney fees as a result of the “deceptive trade practice,” as well as Jewel ceasing use of the “Oak Park Market” name.
A call and e-mail to Supervalu on Monday were not immediately returned.