Optus suffers court blow against Boost Mobile over new feature
Optus has been ordered by the Federal Court to stop using the term "Mobile Boost" and other related terms in relation to a new feature announced by the telco, after an injunction was granted following an application by Boost Mobile over the use of its trademark.
Boost Mobile took legal action against Optus for trademark infringement after Optus announced a new feature that allowed customers to pay $2 to get priority access to its network – a feature the telco labelled "Mobile Boost".
With concerns about potential delays in the legal system and the amount of time that might pass before a hearing, Boost Mobile sought an injunction to prevent Optus from using the term.
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Today, Justice Tom Thawley ruled in favour of Boost, giving Optus 72 hours to remove the "Mobile Boost" and other associated names from their website, app and marketing.
In making his ruling, he said: "This decision is informed by the strength of the prima facie case, the fact that a final hearing may or may not be achievable in the timeframe suggested in the fact that it is not known what length of time might be required for judgement to be delivered during that time."
Thawley went on to say: "The potential confusion and the risk of damage to Boost will be exacerbated while Optus expands the promotion of its Optus Internet Boost and Optus Mobile Boost features in television appearances and advertising, digital video advertising, radio interviews, social media advertising, digital media process and retail marketing.
"For these reasons, the preferable course is to grant interlocutory relief."
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In response to the ruling, an Optus spokesperson said: "The ruling is disappointing, but it is an interim order to temporarily prevent the use of Optus Mobile Boost and Optus Internet Boost whilst the matter goes to a full and final hearing.
"We continue to believe that no customer will be confused into thinking these features of the Optus Living Network are being supplied by or are affiliated with Boost Mobile."
Boost Mobile founder Peter Adderton was pleased with the outcome.
"We appreciate the judge respecting the urgency of this issue, forcing Optus to stop using our trademarked brand immediately, and appreciating how important our brand is to Boost and our customers," he told 9news.com.au.
"I hope Optus is realising that this is not a fight worth fighting such that they agree to move on and find a new word to describe its products."
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An Optus spokesperson also told 9news.com.au the company is "(looking) forward to the case being fully heard and determined by the Federal Court as soon as possible".
However, the court heard both yesterday and today that it was unlikely Optus would be willing or able to return to the "Mobile Boost" name even if they won at an eventual hearing should they be forced to remove the name in the interim.
The loss is a blow to Optus, who under CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has already suffered from the biggest data breach in Australian telecommunications history just six months ago.
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