The Australian digital sports betting company SportsBet has taken a rival gambling firm to court because the competitor is also using the words “sports” and “betting” in their brand.
SportsBet, which is currently owned by the Irish gambling giant Flutter Entertainment, has addressed the Federal Court by filing a trademark infringement lawsuit against Sportsbetting.com.au Pty Ltd, claiming that the latter’s brand SportsBet is too similar to its own brand.
A local media reported that SportsBet made an attempt to resolve the controversial issue without taking the matter to court but it seems that its opponent rejected the opportunity. Now, the Australian online sports betting giant is seeking a permanent solution against its local rival and make it stop using its current name, under the argument that there is a large resemblance between SportsBet and Sportsbetting.
Both gambling companies – SportsBet Pty Ltd and Sportsbetting.com.au – hold operating licences that were issued by the Northern Territory Racing Commission. For the time being, SportsBet is holding a much bigger share of the country’s online gambling sector, with its stake expected to become even larger in the years to come, considering the recent takeover deal between Flutter Entertainment and The Stars Group.
SportsBet Has Previously Filed Similar Trademark Infringement Cases
Ten years ago, in 2010, the founder of SportsBet Matt Tripp decided to sell out the company’s assets to the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power. The latter also underwent a number of changes, including merger and acquisitions, before finally setting up its brands under the parent name “Flutter Entertainment” in 2019.
As mentioned above, this is not the first time when SportsBet has entered in a trademark controversy with a market rival. Back in 2018, the sports betting company got itself into a similar legal dispute with CrownBet, which was planning to change its branding to Sportingbet at the time. In June 2018, SportsBet filed a trademark infringement suit against CrownBet to prevent its competitor to rebrand. BetEasy, on the other hand, argued that the co-existence of the two brandings would end up confusing customers of both operators and suggested that the Court should probably cancel all similar trademarks operating on the market, including SportsBet.
SportsBet managed to emerge victorious from the dispute and won a temporary injunction against BetEasy, the successor of CrownBet. Still, the fight turned out to be practically useless, because after a number of transactions, Flutter Entertainment took over The Stars Group, which is the parent company of BetEasy. The final decision of the operator was to put the operations of the BetEasy brand under the SportsBet banner.
For now, the exact reasons why the legal fight between SportsBet and Sportsdbetting.com.au is erupting now, especially considering the fact that the two gambling companies have already been rivals for quite some time.