Zip Co embroiled in trademark dispute

Zip Co embroiled in trademark dispute

Home loan provider Firstmac is taking digital finance and payments company Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) to Federal Court over a trademark dispute.

Firstmac alleges that Zip Co has infringed its trademark 'ZIP' which is registered in respect of 'financial affairs', specifically home loans.

Zip Co has engaged Corrs Chambers Westgarth to defend the proceedings and is confident that no infringement has taken place.

The company argues that Firstmac is only now choosing to launch proceedings, despite Zip Co using the phrase in question since 2013.

It also says the ZIP trademark in question hasn't been used concurrently by Firstmac at any point.

"The company has used the ZIP marks extensively since the business began six years ago in June 2013 and has since partnered with more than 14,000 retailers at more than 30,000 points of acceptance and has more than 1.2 million customers," says Zip Co.

"As far as Zip Co is aware, Firstmac ceased offering a 'ZIP' home loan product before the Zip Co business commenced."

The company has also called the activity of Firstmac's subsidiary Loans.com.au into question.

It says Loans.com.au is promoting home loan and debit card products by reference to the trademark ZIP.

Zip Co says it is "considering what action it will take in relation to this conduct".

News of the trademark dispute comes four days after Zip Co announced the appointment of its new company secretary David Franks, who replaced Andrew Bursill.

Franks is a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and a seasoned secretary, CFO and director of ASX top 200 and 300 companies in finance and accounting.

He is now the person responsible for communications between Zip Co and the ASX.

At the time of writing (10:47am AEST), Z1P shares have dipped 2.8 per cent to trade at $3.04.

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