Maltesers appeal thrown out of court

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 14th December 2009

chocolate swirl - Cadbury

The Full Federal Court of Australia has unanimously dismissed an appeal by Mars Australia, makers of Maltesers against a rival confectionery product.

On Friday, the Full Court agreed with the trial judge in Mars Australia Pty Ltd v Sweet Rewards Pty Ltd [2009] FCAFC 174 that the Malt Balls product sold by Sweet Rewards did not infringe the registered trademark of Mars Australia brand Maltesers, and did not mislead or deceive consumers of Maltesers.

In its appeal filed in June, Mars Australia had argued that the trial judge had placed too much emphasis on the pre-existing reputation of the Maltesers trademark. The Full Court disagreed, affirming the decision by the trial judge that the brand Maltesers was so well known in Australia that consumers would be able to tell the two products apart. Accordingly, they would not be misled or confused.

The original judgment can be found here.