Australia Post appeals Digital Post Australia court ruling

Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour has said that the adverse court ruling over the Digital Post Australia name was "a great injustice" that will be appealed.

Australia Post will appeal the court ruling that allowed a rival digital mailbox service, Digital Post Australia, to launch under that name.

In April, Australia Post failed to get a court injunction on Digital Post Australia , a digital mail service for bills and documents, similar to Australia Post's Digital MailBox. Then, in August , the court dismissed all claims by Australia Post that the name infringed on Australia Post's trademark or that the company was engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct.

Speaking before a Budget Estimates hearing today, Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour said that the government-owned company would appeal the court's decision.

"We believe a huge injustice has occurred, and we are appealing," he said.

According to the Federal Court's online services, Australia Post filed its appeal on September 7. Digital Post Australia filed a notice of contention on September 21.

Since the court's ruling, Digital Post Australia has had a soft launch of its services. Australia Post's Digital MailBox service is due to launch by the end of this month.

Fahour told the hearing today that the service will be free to customers, but businesses who send bills and other documents to customers through the service will be charged a fee, in a similar way they do for physical mail. He said that it would be cheaper than sending physical mail, but Australia Post was committed to continuing to offer both services.

"We will do both, because both have a role and both have their place," he said.

Randy Dean, CEO of Digital Post Australia told ZDNet that Australia Post was only appealing the case on the grounds of trade mark infringement, not on misleading and deceptive conduct or the passing off claims. He said he was confident of the company's position.

"We are very confident in our position and we accept the court's ruling that there is no confusion in our names. In terms of the business, this case is a non-issue. We are on track to deliver our service later this year and our name will not have any impact on our delivery of Australia's first and best digital postal service," he said.

Updated at 9.51 a.m. October 17: added comment from Digital Post Australia.


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