A2 Milk Co. plans to appeal a trademark decision in Australia after the intellectual property office ruled in the favour of Nestlé in relation to infant formula containing the A2 beta-casein protein.

New Zealand-headquartered A2 Milk had taken the world’s largest food manufacturer to task over the launch of its NAN A2 formula, claiming a trademark registration infringement with its own A2 baby-milk powder.

However, the Australian Trademarks Office, also known as IP Australia, has ruled against A2 Milk, one of the originators of A2 beta-casein protein products. The Auckland-based company’s dairy and infant formulas do not contain the A1 beta-casein protein, said to cause digestive problems for some consumers.

Nestlé launched its NAN A2 formula in Australia in October 2018 followed by its similar S-26 Atwo brand of A2 baby powder in New Zealand a month later. Media reports in Australia say the Switzerland-based food maker only applied for the registration of those brands in January 2019.

The Australian Trademarks Office confirmed the appeal by A2 Milk was lodged with the Federal Court on 16 August after concluding in its decision that “no grounds [were] established” and the “trademark [is] to proceed to registration”.

Contacted by Just Food, a spokesperson for A2 Milk would only say: “The decision by the Australian Trademarks Office is being appealed in the Federal Court of Australia.”

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A spokesperson for Nestlé, meanwhile, said the company “will not be commenting on this matter”.