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    Food start-up planning to sue Sainsbury’s and Waitrose for £8.5 million over trademark violation

    Amar Lodhia, founder of Fit Kitchen, claims that the stores owned by Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have collectively sold over 8 million units of an infringing and virtually identical product to his.

    Fit Kitchen, a London-based online meal delivery service, said it has sent legal notices to Sainsbury’s and Waitrose for selling products that allegedly infringed its trademark.

    Amar Lodhia, founder of Fit Kitchen, claimed that the stores owned by the supermarket giants have collectively sold over 8 million units of an infringing and virtually identical product to his, at a gross profit of up to £2 per unit.

    The claims against Sainsbury’s stores amount to £5.3 million, and Waitrose total £3.2 million. Lodhia said the sale of the infringing ‘Fit Kitchen’ range took place for nearly three years, between 4 January 2017 and 3 November 2019.

    Waitrose said they are yet to receive any court papers on the issue. Sainsbury’s acknowledged receiving documents from Lodhia, but added that they are not currently a party to any litigation.

    Both supermarkets, however, said they are aware of the dispute between Fit Kitchen and Scratch Meals, the suppliers of the meal range in question.

    Fit Kitchen has earlier taken Grimsby-based Scratch Meals to court, following which the latter agreed to re-brand and cease the use of Fit Kitchen brand on 2 November 2019.

    Lodhia, a former fitness model, launched his Fit Kitchen business in 2015, delivering custom-made meals directly to people.

    He said both supermarkets refused to cooperate even after he has approached them soon after the launch of the products, making them aware of the alleged infringement.

    Lodhia alleges that since the supermarkets started selling the range, consumers mistook these products for his and stopped buying from his website.

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