Australian brand Bega has had a small win over American food giant Kraft as it fights over who has the right to use yellow designs on peanut butter jars.
Kraft took Bega to the International Centre for Dispute Resolution in New York in February to stop the Aussie company using similar packaging.
At the same time a US federal court was considering a similar matter, launched in 2017.
The global food company has taken issue with Bega’s use of yellow lids and labels, which are also at the centre of a consumer law dispute in Australia’s federal court.
Justice David O’Callaghan on Friday told Kraft it cannot continue its proceedings in New York or try to get the US tribunal to stop Bega from using yellow packaging while the Australian court case is under way.
Kraft sought “emergency relief” from the International Centre for Dispute Resolution in the form of an order stopping Bega from using yellow lids and labels or other “similar trade dress”.
It also wanted the New York tribunal to stop Bega from any conduct that delayed or damaged Kraft’s presence in the Australian peanut butter market.
The brands look set to go to trial in the federal court following the Australian court dashing Kraft’s attempts to get US-based courts to stop Bega.
Kraft’s federal court case alleges Bega breached consumer law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct over its peanut butter marketing.
Not long after Bega took over a Port Melbourne peanut butter factory that once supplied Kraft, the Australian company ran radio and television advertisements saying “Kraft peanut butter is now Bega peanut butter”.
The ad also stated: “Never oily, never dry, with the same taste you’ve always loved, and now is Aussie owned by Bega.”
Kraft claims the ads contain false or misleading representations about the Kraft brand becoming Bega peanut butter, or being replaced by Bega’s nut spread.
The company wants the federal court to stop Bega from making statements that it’s replacing Kraft peanut butter, and about the name being the only difference between the two brands.
Bega has also filed a cross-claim against Kraft over its re-entry into the Australian peanut butter market.
The case is due to return to court for an administrative hearing on 10 May.