Advokatbyrån Gulliksson AB has represented Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp (ATG) in a dispute against Svenska Spel Sport & Casino AB (Svenska Spel) regarding infringement of the company name Trav och Galopp and cancellation of a trademark registration.
ATG is a betting company that has provided betting on horses for almost 50 years. Since the re-regulation of the Swedish gambling market in 2019, ATG also offers betting on other sports and casino. The company name Aktiebolaget Trav och Galopp was registered with the Swedish Companies Registration Office in 1973.
In 2019, Svenska Spel applied for and was granted trademark registration for a figurative mark dominated by the word combination “TRAV & GALOPP”. In the following year, 2020, Svenska Spel began using “TRAV & GALOPP” and “TRAV OCH GALOPP” in marketing for its horse betting in advertising, on social media and on Svenska Spel’s own website. ATG noticed this and urged Svenska Spel to stop using ATG’s company name. However, Svenska Spel chose to continue its use and ATG was forced to file a lawsuit to stop the use.
In 2022, the Patent and Market Court ruled that there was a risk of confusion between Svenska Spel’s trademark registration and ATG’s company name, which meant that Svenska Spel’s trademark registration was canceled. The Patent and Market Court also considered that Svenska Spel’s use of “TRAV & GALOPP” and “TRAV AND GALOPP” constituted an infringement of ATG’s company name and prohibited Svenska Spel from using the signs TRAV & GALOPP or TRAV AND GALOPP in different designs when marketing and selling betting on horses, subject to a fine of SEK 10,000,000. The Patent and Market Court also determined that Svenska Spel is obliged to pay reasonable compensation to ATG for the use. Svenska Spel appealed the judgment to the Patent and Market Court of Appeal, which after a review issued a judgment on 25 January 2024. The Patent and Market Court of Appeal made the same assessment as the Patent and Market Court and essentially confirmed the Patent and Market Court’s judgment. The judgment cannot be appealed and it is now clear that Svenska Spel’s use has infringed ATG’s rights.
The present judgment is very interesting from a legal science perspective as it is one of the few judgments concerning the so called crosswise protection of company names and trademarks. Due to the historically close relationship between company names and trademarks, Swedish law provides for automatic crosswise protection of company names as trademarks and vice versa.
If you want to know more about crosswise protection or what protection your company name and trademarks have, please contact us at Advokatbyrån Gulliksson.