Online bookrunner Crownbet has been sued by rival Sportsbet over its attempt to trade mark and operate under the “Sportingbet” name.
In a statement of claims filed June 21, Sportsbet says Crownbet is threatening to violate its “Sportsbet” trade mark by seeking to trademark the “Sportingbet” mark because the marks are substantially similar.
It claims Crownbet’s actions have been undertaken with “flagrant disregard” for its rights as the owner of the “Sportsbet” trade marks.
The Australian reported earlier this month that the Matt Tripp-led Crownbet intended to rebrand as Sportingbet in the wake of its March acquisition of William Hill’s Australian business. Tripp’s father, Alan, used to own Sportingbet, which was purchased by William Hill about 5 years ago.
Tripp previously told The Australian he was excited to have the Sportingbet business back in the family.
In May, Crownbet filed an application to trade mark the word “Sportingbet” for its online gambling services and in June applied to ASIC to register the name Sportingbet Pty Ltd.
Through its solicitors at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Sportsbet sent a letter to Crownbet demanding withdrawal of the trade mark application and requesting that the company stop using the mark.
Crownbet, through its solicitors with Arnold Bloch Liebler, denied the request, saying the company intended to provide betting services under the mark.
The use of the “Sportingbet” mark by Crownbet would mislead the public into believing its services have been sponsored by or have some other connection with Sportsbet, in violation of the Australian Consumer Law, Sportsbet claims.
Sportsbet has carried on its betting and wagering business in Australia under the “Sportsbet” mark since 1991 and on its website www.sportsbet.com.au since 2003, according to the statement of claim. It says it has developed a reputation and goodwill in the “Sportsbet” mark in Australia.
It is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction barring Crownbet from using the mark, an order requiring that Crownbet withdraw its trade mark application, as well as damages and costs.
Sportsbet told the court it will suffer substantial harm and that Crownbet will profit from the alleged wrongful conduct if it is not restrained by the court.
A case management hearing has been scheduled for July 25 before Justice Jonathan Beach.
Crownbet did not respond to a request seeking comment on Monday.
Sportsbet is represented by David Fixler of Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Crownbet is represented by Arnold Bloch Liebler.
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