Judge blocks Cracker Barrel from grocery stores

CHICAGO (AP) -- A federal judge is backing Kraft Foods in its effort to keep Cracker Barrel Old Country Store from expanding into grocery stores.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman in Chicago granted a preliminary injunction on Monday blocking Tennessee-based Cracker Barrel from selling its branded meats in grocery stores. Kraft claims that would infringe on its own Cracker Barrel-trademarked cheese and confuse consumers.

Cracker Barrel argued that it's not selling cheese, and the distance between the dairy cases and meat sections would reduce confusion.

Gettleman says Northfield, Ill.-based Kraft has a good chance of prevailing in its lawsuit.

He says sales of Kraft's Cracker Barrel cheese are strong, and the trademark was registered more than a decade before Cracker Barrel Old Country Store used the name.

Neither company immediately returned messages.

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