Ampol and EG are set to clash in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday with documents filed to the court revealing the Australian refiner was actively planning for an end to the Caltex brand in locally.

The fuel refiner has been locked in a legal struggle with EG since last year after Caltex pulled the plug on the brand in Australia.

The upset came just months after EG had inked a deal with Ampol – trading at the time as Caltex – to use Caltex branded fuel products across its chain of service stations.

EG had signed on to use the Caltex brand in April 2019 when it acquired the 534 petrol stations previously owned by Woolworths, with fuel supplied by Caltex. But Caltex international pulled the plug on its Australian brand use in December.

Prior to signing on to the deal to use the Caltex brand EG had sought a warranty from Ampol to the effect it had the valid license to use Chevron’s Caltex trade marks until at least July 31 2033.

Ampol declined to provide that warranty to EG Group, but informed the retailer it had a “long term agreement” and if there was a formal process to end the use of the Caltex brand in Australia it would take place over several years.

But court documents reveal Ampol was aware Chevron could terminate the Caltex brand as early as 30 June 2019.

This agreement was amended on June 27 2019 and July 3 2019 to dial back the termination period from 48 months to as few as six.

The documents state when Ampol was asked how long a time period Chevron had given the refiner to end its use of the Caltex Brand the only answer that could be given was that it was “a long-term agreement”.

The documents show EG had asked Ampol whether it had a five, ten, or 15 year deal with Chevron to use the Caltex name.

However, this all took place during a period where Ampol was actively engaged in preparing a new brand that could stand in Caltex’s place should the deal be nixed.

Chevron pulled the plug on the use of its Caltex brand after years of complaining that Ampol had failed to comply with the terms of its trademark license.

EG has long argued had it known Caltex was looking to cut Ampol out of using its brand it would have renegotiated the terms of its fuel supply deal “so that they were more favourable”.

The termination of the deal between Caltex and Australia cut EG’s rights to use the trademarks or the Caltex brand after 31 December 2022.

EG loses exclusive rights to the Caltex Brand after 31 December 2021.

Extracted in full from: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/court-docs-show-ampol-told-eg-caltex-brand-was-long-term-only-months-before-being-nixed/news-story/331759c54eff976724c89f2450bba008

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