Australian dairy brand Bega has won a Federal Court battle against US giant Kraft over the use of trademark yellow lids on its peanut butter jars
Kraft appealed a 2018 decision by the court which saw Bega given exclusive rights to use the yellow lid plus the red and blue peanut labels. However, the Federal Court dismissed the case on Tuesday.
A dispute began shortly after Bega bought most of Mondelez International’s Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business in 2017, including Kraft peanut butter. Bega kept the branding colours but ran ads stating “Kraft peanut butter is now Bega peanut butter”.
Kraft claimed that it was misleading to consumers but the appeal judges disagreed.
“Even if there were a possibility that some reasonable consumers would be confused about the change in brands, conduct that merely causes confusion is not misleading or deceptive,” justices Lindsay Foster, Mark Moshinsky and Michael O’Bryan wrote in their decision.
Bega issued a statement to the ASX on Tuesday saying it looks forward to continuing to product and supply its “much-loved peanut butter products”.
“The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has today upheld the trial judgement and confirmed Bega Cheese Limited’s right to use the trade dress currently associated with its peanut butter products. This gives Bega Cheese the right to continue to use the current packaging of its Smooth and Crunchy Peanut Butter products.”
Adam McNamara, executive general manager at Bega Foods, said in a statement that the company is “delighted with the decision”.
“Our main priority has always been supplying peanut butter lovers with the peanut butter they’ve always known and loved. We’re committed to producing Australia’s favourite peanut butter, including the newest member of the Bega Peanut Butter family – Bega Simply Nuts – our natural peanut butter.”