Roger Ramsey’s AussieMite yeast spread wins trademark dispute with Dick Smith’s OzEmite

Dick Smith’s food company suffered a major blow after the court ruled that the name of its flagship OzEmite spread must be replaced. The ruling made yesterday by IP Australia was in favour of Adelaide businessman Roger Ramsey and his AussieMite spread, also yeast extract, after a proceedings was initiated by him against Mr Smith’s similarly branded product.

It was ruled by IP Australia, the authority for trademarks and patents, that Mr Ramsey owns the trademark and the case against Mr Smith on the basis of the ‘non-use’ principle was found to be valid. The court observed that while Mr Smith registered the OzEmite name years ago, he did not bring the product to market within the requisite time frame. While at the same time Mr Ramsey’s AussieMite was in the market.

As a result of the ruling Dick Smith Foods must now withdraw its product for sale from the market. Dick Smith Foods, however, has declined any comment regarding the decision, but has 21 days to appeal the decision. Mr Ramsey welcomed the decision by IP Australia and said: “The Australian consumer can now avoid confusion. People will recognise the Roger Ramsey signature and not Dick Smith’s.” AussieMite is currently being sold at Coles and Woolworths, and also in the UK as well.

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