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Court to Hear 'Trader John's' Case Today
Jan 14, 2009 6:00 AM, By MARK HAMSTRA
NEW YORK — A judge in the U.S. District Court here has set a hearing for today in response to Trader Joe’s request for a court order blocking Gristedes’ planned opening on Thursday of a Trader John’s store in Manhattan. The Manhattan store is scheduled to open Thursday. As reported in SN on Monday, Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s has filed a lawsuit against Gristedes alleging that the Trader John’s concept violates Trader Joe’s trademark rights. In an interview with SN yesterday, John Catsimatidis, chairman of Gristedes parent Red Apple Group, said he is “taking the position that the word ‘trader’ is generic.” He said if Gristedes loses the case, he would likely rename the store but keep the concept of an all-private-label discount format. “This is an experiment,” he said, confirming reports that he is considering rolling out to other Gristedes locations.