Australia Post loses digital mail naming battle

A federal court has ruled against Australia Post, which had claimed that the Digital Post Australia business name was too close to Australia Post's own to use for rival mailbox products.

Australia Post's attempt to ban Digital Post Australia from offering a digital mailbox under its name has been dismissed from the Federal Court after Australia Post failed to secure an interlocutory injunction against its rival earlier this year.

Australia Post had claimed that Digital Post Australia was engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct by choosing a business name that was similar to its own comparable offering, Australia Post Digital MailBox.

Digital Post Australia's service is a digital mail service that acts as a personal assistant, notifying users when bill payments are due and keeping digital documents together for secure access. Australia Post's offering is similar, but in the form of an app for mobile and laptop devices.

Today, the federal court ruled in favour of Digital Post Australia, dismissing all claims by Australia Post, including trade mark infringement, misleading and deceptive conduct and passing off as another product.

According to a statement by Digital Post Australia, the court found that the claims were "without merit" and that "it is difficult to imagine that anyone who is competent with computer technology will have any doubt that Digital Post Australia is separate and distinct from Australia Post". Despite this, Digital Post Australia clearly highlights on its website that it is not an Australia Post business.

"We are very pleased with the court's decision," said Digital Post Australia chairman David Hynes.

"Throughout these proceedings we have remained focused on moving our business forward, and have made substantial progress toward reaching our business objective of delivering the first and best digital postal service to Australians. We expect to announce some important developments in the coming weeks that will further demonstrate the strength of our market position."

Australia Post said that it was disappointed in the outcome, and that it would now be taking time to consider the judgement and whether it will appeal the decision to "prevent third parties from using an Australian-owned, trusted brand for their commercial gain".

Australia Post's own Digital MailBox offering will be using Telstra's cloud services , after the two signed agreements in July this year. Australia Post also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AMP in June, which will enable the financial company to offer the mailbox service to its own customers.

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