Metro sued for using Metro brand

In France and Italy Metro International is being sued for using the Metro trademark according to the 2008 Metro annual report. Although the party suing Metro is not identified, it is very likely that it is the same German Metro/Makro wholesaler that successfully sued Metro in Hungary in 2008 (see previous post).

If the German wholesaler wins, Metro must cease to use the Metro name, “which may negatively affect the business operations in these countries”. The current claim is a maximum of €1.1m. The claims will increase when the infringement continues.

Also is Spain there could be a problem in the future:

Metro Spain is party to a lawsuit from a third party sales agency for termination of a contract without notice and breach of the noncompete clause demanding damages of € 6.4 million. Metro Spain has contested the claims. Advice from legal counsel is that the amount of any adverse judgment cannot be reliably estimated. The Company has not made any provisions in the financial statements for the claim made.

In Sweden there is still an issue with the Swedish tax office. In July 2008 the court decided that disputed taxes (€7m) had to be paid. Metro appealed in August 2008 on which the Tax Authority has granted a deferral, “a decision is expected in 2009”.

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