Bega Cheese wins legal battle over peanut butter packaging

Australian food company Bega has triumphed over its US competitor Kraft, in a long-running legal battle over the right to use the distinctive peanut butter jar shape and iconic yellow lid that Australians all know and love.

The dispute began in 2017 when Bega purchased Kraft’s peanut butter business including all assets and goodwill, from its Australian subsidiary, Mondelez Australia. After the deal was finalised, Kraft claimed that Mondelez didn’t own and therefore could not sell the rights to the ‘trade dress’ for Kraft’s peanut butter product, including the yellow lid. Luckily for Bega however, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia thought otherwise.

Last year, the Federal Court of Australia ruled that Bega Cheese had the exclusive right to use the sought after packaging, and this month the Full Court dismissed Kraft’s appeal of that decision.

Whilst the outcome is a success for Bega and their legal team, it serves as a timely reminder to ensure that your brands are properly protected, and to consider the status of both registered and unregistered trade marks, particularly in a due diligence process.

If you have any concerns about your own Intellectual Property, or need help registering your trade marks, the Kalus Kenny Intelex commercial team is here to help.