US oil giant Chevron is angry Australian petrol retailer Ampol about its continued use of the iconic Caltex brand at service stations, claiming it is being “misused” and causing confusion.

The Ampol brand was retired 25 years ago when the company teamed up with the Houston-based energy producer to create Caltex Australia.

Chevron sold its half-stake in Caltex Australia in 2015 but it wasn’t until December last year that it terminated Caltex Australia’s right to use the Caltex brand, prompting the company to revert back to Ampol Ltd in May.

The first rebranded petrol station was unveiled last month in Concord, Sydney.

On Tuesday, Ampol told the Australian Securities Exchange that Chevron had taken it to the Federal Court alleging breaches of their trade mark licence agreement, relating to 177 Ampol sites together with an unspecified number of third party sites operating under a sub-licence.

Ampol said its former affiliate was seeking an injunction requiring the offending signage to be removed, plus damages.

Chevron says it will bring back the Caltex brand in Australia ‘once we are contractually able’. Picture: Stewart McLean
Chevron says it will bring back the Caltex brand in Australia ‘once we are contractually able’. Picture: Stewart McLeanSource:News Corp Australia

The retailer said it had a work-out period until the end of calendar 2022 to transition its full network to the Ampol brand, and the proceedings would not affect these activities, which were on target.

“Ampol and Chevron have been in discussion for some time in an effort to resolve Chevron’s complaints,” the company said.

“Ampol does not consider these matters to be a significant part of either party’s business in the context of its transition plans.

“Ampol is confident of its position and intends to defend the claim accordingly.”

A Chevron spokesman said the company was taking the action to protect the Caltex brand and avoid confusion caused by its misuse.

“We are proud of the Caltex brand,” a spokesman said.

“Consumers must be able to rely on it for the value they know it represents.

“We will bring back the iconic Caltex brand in Australia once we are contractually able.”

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