7-Eleven food delivery service edges closer after Seven Network’s legal loss

7-Eleven Australia has been sold.

7-Eleven Australia has been sold. Photo: AAP

Seven Network has failed to hold onto the 7NOW trade mark, 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 pick-up service using this brand via its website and phone app.

On Thursday, the firm successfully deregistered Seven Network’s trade mark in the Federal Court, removing one barrier to the launch of its delivery service in Australia.

In 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 trade mark 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 trade mark 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 June 15 for legal argument about the appropriate orders moving forward.

AAP has contacted Seven and 7-Eleven for comment.


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