Two major Swedish furniture retailers – IKEA and Ikea — have been sued by their suppliers for protecting each other’s brands over false labeling in their catalogs.
Several suppliers have been banned or urged to discontinue co-branding in catalogs. They include makers of fruit pears, apples, bananas, pear, pink grapefruit, mango, peaches, grapes, and guavas, the Reuters news agency reported.
Konrad Aldrenard, who runs food supplier J Fjord Foods in Sweden, said that IKEA led the charge to stop co-branding, while Ikea’s response was that Aldrenard’s customers should choose the leafier, paler IKEA shade.
IKEA argued in court that co-branding outside its own premises made no commercial sense.
The court has yet to rule in the case, but a number of suppliers are expected to appeal, while Ikea and IKEA’s shareholders and consumers can put up a show of solidarity by co-branding, at least at the register.
Click for more from The Wall Street Journal.