New Zealand: A2 Milk takes legal action against Australian rival over trademark

Stuff NZ reports

The a2 Milk Company is taking legal action against a rival in Australia for breaching its trademark and is seeking an injunction preventing the company, Care A2 Plus, from selling its products in Australia.

A2 Milk said on Wednesday it had filed a claim against Care A2 and its associated companies in the Federal Court of Australia in New South Wales.

New Zealand-based a2 Milk has succeeded in creating a new global dairy brand based on A2 protein dairy products which it sells in New Zealand, Australia, China, the United States, Canada and other emerging markets. The fast-growing A2 category is now emulated by the largest food and beverage companies in the world like Danone and Nestle.

A spokesperson for a2 Milk said the company vigorously protects its intellectual property rights, including trademarks. The company would not comment further at this stage given the matter was before the Court, he said.

A2 Milk has asked the court for a permanent injunction restraining Care A2 from selling, advertising or distributing products in Australia which infringe its registered trademarks and which are substantially identical with or deceptively similar to its registered marks.

It claims shoppers in Australia may have thought Care A2’s products were part of the a2 Milk Company’s range, and it is seeking damages or an account of profits for the trademark infringement.

A2 Milk said it had taken steps through its lawyers to try and resolve the dispute since February last year, but had been unable to resolve it.

Care A2 has been contacted for comment.