giants raise the stakes in legal battle over their brand names - 24th October
and rival BetEasy are facing off in court over naming rights.CREDIT: JOE ARMAO
legal war over naming rights between two of Australias biggest online sports-betting
companies has taken a turn, as BetEasy launches an application to terminate the
brand name of its main rival, Sportsbet.
retaliatory legal action launched in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup Carnival,
the busiest wagering period of the year comes after Sportsbet successfully
obtained a temporary ruling quashing CrownBets plans to rebadge as Sportingbet
in the wake of its split from billionaire James Packers Crown Resorts.
June, Sportsbet argued the name Sportingbet was too similar to Sportsbet,
and likely to mislead or deceive customers. Against a tight deadline,
the temporary orders forced CrownBet to scrap its intended rebrand and relaunch
the business as BetEasy instead.
a new cross-claim, filed in the Federal Court, BetEasy is arguing that if the
court ultimately sides with Sportsbets position that the two names are deceptively
similar, it should also cancel the Sportsbet trade mark, because,
at the time the trade mark was registered, there were multiple other betting providers
including Sportingbet and TAB Sportsbet already in existence in Australia.
sports betting service providers other than Sportsbet have operated in the Australian
market using trade marks comprising the words sport and bet,
or derivations of those words to seek to distinguish their services, court
the names are found to be too similar, according to BetEasy, the Sportsbet trademark
should never have been allowed to have been registered.
registration of each of the Sportsbet trade marks is liable to be cancelled,
casino operator Crown Resorts sold its 62 per cent stake in CrownBet to the Toronto-listed
gambling giant The Stars Group for $150 million in February, CrownBets chief
executive, Matt Tripp, had been preparing to rebrand as Sportingbet
the name of a betting company run by Mr Tripps father, Alan Tripp,
which was later bought by British wagering company William Hill in 2014.
Sportsbet the Australian arm of international gambling giant Paddy Power
Betfair launched a Federal Court application seeking emergency orders stopping
CrownBet from the rebrand.
response to BetEasys cross-claim, Sportsbet said it admitted that certain
sports wagering service providers have in the past operated in the Australian
market using trade marks incorporating the words sport and bet
or derivations thereof, but otherwise rejected BetEasys arguments.
It denied that the Sportsbet trademark was liable to be cancelled.
Sydney Morning Herald)