Seven Network has failed to hold on to the 7Now trademark, opening the door for 7-Eleven to use the same brand name to launch a food delivery service in Australia.
The win ends a two-year legal spat between the two firms to keep hold of the 7Now mark, which the broadcaster had owned since August 2013.
Overseas, 7-Eleven runs a food and alcohol delivery and pickup service using this brand via its website and phone app.
On Thursday, the firm successfully deregistered Seven Network’s trademark in the federal court, removing one barrier to the launch of its delivery service in Australia.
n June 2019, 7-Eleven first applied to the Registrar of Trade Marks to strip Seven Network of the 7Now brand, arguing the firm had not used it for years.
After the delegate agreed and deregistered the mark, Seven launched an appeal in the federal court, a challenge that has now been dismissed.
The firm argued that it used 7Now in a webpage URL from July 2018 to April 2019 which redirected people to the 7Plus website.
Justice Tom Thawley found that mere redirection was not trademark use.
“The 7NOW mark did not appear on the 7PLUS website. At no time was a user taken to a 7NOW website. If anything, the user would assume that the 7NOW mark was not in use at all,” he wrote.
Even once a website sporting the 7Now logo was created, this was not used like a trademark in promoting Seven’s goods and services, the judge found.
He also rejected Seven’s arguments that 7-Eleven’s use of the brand would confuse consumers because of a connection to its broadcasting services.
“If a consumer saw the 7NOW mark in connection with the sale of food or goods typically found in convenience stores, I do not think any confusion would arise,” he wrote.
Seven has indicated it will oppose 7-Eleven’s registration of the 7Now mark in Australia, meaning another legal spat between the two firms is on the horizon.
Justice Thawley ordered Seven to pay 7-Eleven’s legal costs.
The matter will next come before the federal court on 15 June for legal argument about the appropriate orders moving forward.
Seven and 7-Eleven have been approached for comment.
Extracted in full from: Door opens for 7-Eleven delivery service as Seven loses battle over 7Now trademark | Australia news | The Guardian