A noteworthy trademark skirmish has erupted in Australia’s Federal Court as the Seven Network and 7-Eleven Inc. grapple with safeguarding their respective brands, each incorporating the numeral seven. Kerry Stokes-backed Seven West Media is endeavouring to halt the global convenience chain 7-Eleven from employing its trademarks for sundry product lines like ‘7 FRESH’, ‘7 CONNECT’, and ‘7 SELECT’. The media firm finds it objectionable that the Texas-based corporation excludes the number 11 when branding its merchandise, given the close association the number seven has with their Australian operations.
Seven West Media contends that featuring only seven without the accompanying eleven could mislead customers into presuming a connection or endorsement by the media company – an outcome they assert should never transpire under any circumstances in which another entity seeks to utilise this numeric pairing within the local market.
Seven Network has initiated legal measures to defend its widely recognised household name in response to 7-Eleven Inc.’s efforts to adopt branding without the ‘11’. In Australia, the name ‘7’ is inextricably linked with Seven, and any attempts by 7-Eleven to embrace similar branding will be met with resistance. It is worth noting that this dispute involves Seven Network and 7-Eleven Inc., not the local Australian company 7-Eleven Australia, which holds a licence to operate stores in the country and has declared its detachment from the issue at hand.
Seven West Media has expressed apprehension about 7-Eleven’s infringement on its brand. Although both companies have functioned autonomously in Australia since the 1970s, recent queries have emerged regarding 7-Eleven Inc.’s possible clash with the Seven Network following the launch of their ‘7NOW’ app and subsequent attempts to register it as a trademark, citing non-use by the media network. This situation arose shortly after 7-Eleven unveiled its delivery application, also called ‘7NOW’, in July 2019, prompting Seven Network to seek clarification on its potential encroachment upon its esteemed brand identity. The ramifications of this trademark registration could extend across Australia and beyond; however, it remains to be seen that legal action will ensue.