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Australian court approves some of Trident Seafoods' trademark appeal

Trident Seafoods sells products under the name 'Bountiful' in Australia because of trademark laws.

US-based Trident Seafoods has won at least one appeal over a trademark held by Australia-based Trident Foods, wholly owned subsidiary of Manassen Foods Australia.

According to court documents filed Oct. 4 with the Federal Court of Australia, the court ruled

Company profile: Trident Seafoods

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in favor of Trident Seafoods' opposition to the Australian brand's 2014 application to register a trademark for the word "Trident" for "cooked meals consisting principally of fish" as well as "fish products," and "food products made of fish."

The Federal Court's Justice Gleeson however ruled in favor of Trident Foods' application to register its "Trident" trademark in "relation to pastes containing fish" and for "fish sauce" and "flavourings made from fish."

"'TRIDENT' is an Australian brand that has been used on a variety of food products since the early 1970s," she wrote. "Historically, the 'TRIDENT' brand is closely connected with Asian flavours and ingredients. Its best-selling product is sweet chilli sauce."

In May of 2013, Trident Seafoods filed a trademark application to use the Trident Seafoods logo for "seafood, processed seafood, edible oils, edible fish oils, nutritional oils for food purposes, edible oils and edible fish oils for use as ingredients in foods and beverages."

That application was blocked due to Trident Foods' existing trademarks, the court documents say.

In 2014 Trident Seafoods' Australian trademark attorney wrote Trident Foods to seek consent from Trident Foods to approve the application, stating Trident Foods was not using its trademark for the products. Trident Foods did not consent to the application.

Trident Seafoods' appeal in 2014 to an Australian delegate over whether Trident Foods was not using the trademark was also rejected.

Australia's Trident Foods to keep longstanding trademarks

Gleeson however ruled in favor of Trident Foods keeping its trademark in Australia for "meat, fish, poultry and game, including sardines, mackerel, pilchards, crab, oysters, mussels, and prawns; meat extracts, preserved, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables, jellies, jams, eggs, preservatives and pickles."

Trident Seafoods has not attempted to sell seafood products in Australia using the Trident Seafoods logo because of the trademark, the court documents say. Since 2007, Trident Seafoods has sold seafood products in the Australian market under the brand "Bountiful" at Costco.

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