The Case of Musashi v A-Sashi

What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You

The Federal Court of Australia recently granted an injunction to prevent one business owner from using its trade mark because it was substantially identical or deceptively similar to an existing trade mark owned by another business. The case is this…

In one corner, we have the owner of the registered trade mark, Nestle, who supplies dietary supplements using the trade mark “Musashi”. In the other corner, we have small business owner and entrepreneur, James Christian, who established an online vitamin business called “A-Sashi Vitamins” in 2013.

While Christian followed the road taken by many entrepreneurs before him – he registered his business name, secured a domain name and created a logo showcasing his brand, “A-Sashi”, he was unaware of Nestle’s registered Musashi trademark. Currently, the battle remains ongoing as reports show that  Christian “will seek special leave to appeal to the High Court”. However, the damage has already been done, it is reported that the matter has been ongoing for 3 years and Christian has “lost the $200,000 invested in A-Sashi and now owes the costs to Nestle”.

Unfortunately, Christian’s story isn’t a stand-alone one. We’ve met with many clients who have invested time and capital into their business only to realise that they have unintentionally infringed on a registered trademark. The lesson here is the importance of seeking proper advice before investing precious time and resource into a business investment. It is money well spent to ensure that you’re not infringing on any existing trade marks but that ultimately, you’re building a brand that belongs solely to you.

If you’re thinking of starting a business or would like to speak with someone about registering a trade mark, feel free to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Carina Yap

Carina Yap
Trade Mark Lawyer

Carina Yap is a solicitor with Phang Legal, an incorporated legal practice based in Parramatta CBD providing professional legal services in trade mark advice, representation and trade mark registration to businesses across Sydney and Australia.