Sportsbet has launched legal action against Australian rival CrownBet over its plans to rebrand as ‘Sportingbet’.
Paddy Power Betfair-owned Sportsbet said in the Federal Court lawsuit that the name would infringe on its own trademark and confuse punters in the country.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that CrownBet had applied to the Australian corporate regulator to change its name and revive the Sportingbet name, which the operator was known as prior to a buy-out by William Hill five years ago.
The proposed rebrand comes after The Stars Group in February acquired a 62% stake in CrownBet Holdings, before increasing its stake to 80% in April.
The Stars Group now also owns the William Hill Australia business.
In court documents seen by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, Sportsbet said the name change could “mislead or deceive” consumers as the two brands are “substantially similar”.
Sportsbet also accused CrownBet of “flagrant disregard” for its right as owner of the Sportsbet trademark, and said the rebrand would mislead consumers into believing its services are connected with Sportsbet.
A Sportsbet spokesperson added: “Sportsbet is taking court action to protect the Sportsbet brand, and Australian consumers, from being misled in the market between Sportsbet and a Sportingbet brand.”
CrownBet, in correspondence with Sportsbet lawyers, has rejected demands to withdraw the trademark application and has successfully applied to the Federal Court for an earlier hearing date on the matter.